January 22, 2022

Germany offers $1.8 billion to Namibia to atone for genocide, Europe News & Top Stories

BERLIN (REUTERS, AFP) – Germany apologised on Friday (May 28) for its role in the slaughter of Herero and Nama tribes people in Namibia more than a century ago and officially described the massacre as genocide for the first time, as it agreed to fund projects worth over a billion euros.

But Herero paramount chief Vekuii Rukoro rejected as insulting a deal agreed by the German and Namibian governments because it did not include payment of reparations.

“That’s a black cat in the bag instead of reparations for a crime against humanity,” Mr Rukoro told Reuters, referring to a German commitment to fund €1.1 billion (S$1.8 billion) of reconstruction and development projects in Namibia.

“No self-respecting African will accept such an insult in this day and age from a so-called civilised European nation.”

German soldiers killed some 65,000 Herero and 10,000 Nama people in a 1904-1908 campaign after a revolt against land seizures by colonists in what historians and the United Nations have long called the first genocide of the 20th century.

While Germany previously acknowledged “moral responsibility” for the killings, it had avoided making an official apology for the massacres to avoid compensation claims.

In a statement announcing an agreement with Namibia following more than five years of negotiations, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the events of the German colonial period should be named “without sparing or glossing over them”.

“We will now also officially call these events what they were from today’s perspective: a genocide,” Mr Maas said.

“In light of Germany’s historical and moral responsibility, we will ask Namibia and the descendants of the victims for forgiveness.”

The German funding will directly benefit the genocide-affected communities, he said.

Namibia said Germany’s acknowledgement on Friday was a “step in the right direction”.

“The acceptance on the part of Germany that a genocide was committed is the first step in the right direction,” President Hage Geingob’s spokesman, Mr Alfredo Hengari, told AFP.

“It is the basis for the second step, which is an apology, to be followed by reparations,” he said.

Namibian media reported on Thursday that the money would support infrastructure, healthcare and training programmes over 30 years.

Ms Anne Marcus, a 34-year-old German living in Namibia, said she was suspicious of the announcement because it came at a time when Namibia was financially vulnerable.

“I think it was a very opportune time for the Germans to act and agree on something, knowing that there was a likelihood for Namibia to accept whatever offer came their way. So I’m not entirely sure justice has been served,” she said.

The south-west African country saw its economy contract by a record 8 per cent in 2020 as it was hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, it received its first-ever funds from the International Monetary Fund to address the country’s deteriorating fiscal position.

Germany, which lost all its colonial territories after World War I, was the third-biggest colonial power after Britain and France. However, its colonial past was ignored for decades while historians and politicians focused more on the legacy of Nazi crimes, including the Holocaust.

In 2015, it began formal negotiations with Namibia over the issue and in 2018 returned skulls and other remains of massacred tribes people that were used in colonial-era experiments to assert claims of European racial superiority.

in World
Related Posts

‘Disgusting’: UK’s chief medical adviser harassed, Europe News & Top Stories

June 29, 2021

June 29, 2021

LONDON (REUTERS) – Britain on Tuesday (June 29) condemned the “disgusting” harassment of the government’s top medical adviser, Dr Chris...

Syrians go to the polls in election that Assad is set to win, Middle East News & Top Stories

May 26, 2021

May 26, 2021

DAMASCUS (REUTERS) – Polling stations opened on Wednesday (May 26) across Syria in a presidential election that is set to...

Rescue workers recover 11th victim in Florida building collapse: Mayor, United States News & Top Stories

June 28, 2021

June 28, 2021

MIAMI, FLORIDA (REUTERS) – Another body was recovered on Monday (June 28) from the rubble of a collapsed Florida condominium...

Putin hosts Belarus’ Lukashenko amid Western outcry over diverted plane, Europe News & Top Stories

May 28, 2021

May 28, 2021

MOSCOW (AFP) – President Vladimir Putin praised Russia’s close ties with Belarus on Friday (May 28) as he hosted strongman...

G-7 reaches consensus on China dumping, human rights abuses, says US official, Europe News & Top Stories

June 12, 2021

June 12, 2021

CARBIS BAY, ENGLAND (REUTERS) – Group of Seven (G-7) leaders have reached consensus on the need for a shared approach...

Slow vaccination, fast reopening: How Asia and Europe are fuelling surge in Covid-19’s Delta variant, World News & Top Stories

July 3, 2021

July 3, 2021

A surge in new Covid-19 cases in Europe has threatened to stall plans to gradually remove restrictions that have disrupted...

Russian news site to close over ‘foreign agent’ designation, Europe News & Top Stories

June 3, 2021

June 3, 2021

MOSCOW (AFP) – One of Russia’s last remaining independent media outlets, VTimes, announced on Thursday (June 3) that it would...

UN confirms 18.3 deg C record heat in Antarctica, Europe News & Top Stories

July 1, 2021

July 1, 2021

GENEVA (AFP) – The United Nations on Thursday (July 1) recognised a new record high temperature for the Antarctic continent,...

Google fined $354 million as France tackles big tech ad power, Europe News & Top Stories

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

PARIS (BLOOMBERG) – Google agreed to pay €220 million (S$354 million) to settle a French antitrust probe over its abuse...

Greece offers cash reward to boost vaccination rates in young people, Europe News & Top Stories

June 28, 2021

June 28, 2021

ATHENS (REUTERS) – Greece will offer young people a cash reward for receiving their first shot against Covid-19 as part...

Biden marks son Beau’s death with grave visit, remarks to military families, United States News & Top Stories

May 30, 2021

May 30, 2021

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE (REUTERS) – US President Joe Biden marked the sixth anniversary on Sunday (May 30) of his son Beau’s...

US CDC eases travel recommendations on 110 countries, territories including Olympics host Japan, United States News & Top Stories

June 8, 2021

June 8, 2021

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has eased travel recommendations for more than 110...

Russia’s Putin plans to offer Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccinations to visiting foreigners for a fee, Europe News & Top Stories

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

ST PETERSBURG (REUTERS) – Russia may provide coronavirus vaccinations for a fee to foreigners who travel to the country, President...

First US cruise in 15 months set to sail as Covid-19 restrictions ease, United States News & Top Stories

June 20, 2021

June 20, 2021

MIAMI (BLOOMBERG) — Guests lined up to board Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Freedom of the Seas on Sunday (June 20), marking the...

WHO, at heart of world’s sluggish response to Covid-19, faces potential shake-up, Europe News & Top Stories

May 31, 2021

May 31, 2021

GENEVA (REUTERS) – The World Health Organisation, at the heart of the world’s slow and stuttering handling of the Covid-19...