German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is scheduled to travel to Namibia and formally apologize for the deaths of tens of thousands of the Herero and Nama ethnic groups.
Germany is almost to closing an agreement with Namibia to recognize as “genocide” the crimes of the German army during colonization (1904-1908), to apologize and offer some kind of reparation.
The two governments have already agreed on the fundamental points, after six years of negotiations, while most important aspect not yet closed is the compensation section, the Deutschlandfunk station reported, citing sources from the Foreign Ministry.
The German government is ready to acknowledge, from today’s point of view, that the killings of tens of thousands of people of the Herero and Nama ethnic groups in then-South West Africa, a colony of the German Reich, amounted to genocide.
Until now Berlin had been reluctant to use this term, partly because it implied the payment of compensation. In November 2019 the German Parliament used the word for the first time to refer to this crime.
The reconciliation deal could close this weekend, according to Deutschlandfunk. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is scheduled to travel to Namibia and participate in a commemorative act in Parliament, where he will formally ask for forgiveness.
Representatives of the Herero and Nama demanded individual compensation, while Berlin advocated investment in the lands inhabited by these two ethnic groups and which were never fully recovered after the German interventions.