Reparations Needs Diplomatic Approach

0
15

By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek DTA Member of Parliament McHenry Venaani has said the government clearly fears the possible impact the genocide issue might have on the current bilateral relations with Germany and thus needs to engage the affected communities to map the road forward. Resuming the debate in the National Assembly on the genocide committed against Namibians in 1904-1908, Venaani said greater efforts needed to be deployed for the government leaders to engage the affected groups to clearly underscore the method of operation of the issue into the future as well as participation of government. He warned that Germany might pressure the Namibian government that existing aid be diverted to the affected communities proportionally. “Our government has not expressed itself clearly on the matter and must do more than agree on the matter and must take moral leadership to engage the Germans on the issue and to allow affected groups to be part and parcel of the official delegation of negotiations.” The youthful parliamentarian said a strategic task committee of parliament must be tasked with working on a diplomatic approach on the matter and to iron out issues before negotiations. “The current technical committee must brief and co-operate with a task committee of Parliament to prepare for a first round of talks.” Venaani also said possible stakeholders that are left outside should be incorporated in the structures of negotiations and efforts must be deployed to kick-start the dialogue. He added that there is also a fear in Europe relating to support for the Herero reparations claim. “The fear is that currently no European power seems eager to take up this reparations demand to pay off the Hereros, as this would invite multitudes of similar claims committed during the colonial era. Imagine what Britain or France might owe?” The debate continued until late yesterday afternoon.