President Briefed on German Reparations Visit

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By Kuvee Kangueehi WINDHOEK The Paramount Chief of the Ovaherero, Kuaima Riruako, yesterday paid a courtesy call on President Hifikepunye Pohamba at State House to brief him on his recent trip to Germany where he witnessed the introduction of a motion in the German Bundestag on “reparations for German colonial crimes in the former German South West Africa”. Riruako, who was accompanied by Nudo Chief Whip Arnold Tjihuiko and some traditional leaders, informed the President that he was pleased with the contributions made by the Bundestag members. He said he now planned to visit various affected communities for the way forward. He spoke highly of the hospitality accorded to him by members of the Left Party as well as Namibia’s Ambassador to Germany, Dr Peter Katjavivi. The Paramount Chief said he had an opportunity to hold a press conference before the motion was introduced to give a brief background on the German atrocities in Namibia. During the introduction of the motion, the Left Party called for the Federal Government of Germany to accept its historical responsibility and to recognize the right to reparations of the Herero and Nama people for the genocide perpetrated by the German protection corps and its peoples from 1904 to 1908. After the debate the motion was referred to the German Bundestag Committee on Foreign Affairs. “I also urged the committee to accord a hearing to the direct victims of the genocide in order for them to make informed decisions.” Riruako, through the President, thanked the various political representatives in the Namibian Parliament who support the motion and said their support has ensured that the genocide and reparations issue was now a national issue. President Pohamba said that on his recent trip to London, he was briefed by Katjavivi and was delighted by the outcome of the Chief’s visit and the tabling of the motion. He encouraged him to meet other affected communities in order to find common ground. Last week, the Ovaherero leader also paid a courtesy call on the Founding President Sam Nujoma where he briefed him about his visit to Germany. He was urged to work hard with those who supported the motion in order to achieve the ultimate goal of reparations. From Monday, Paramount Chief Riruako will visit various regions to brief other traditional chiefs. His first point of call will be Otjituuo and then Okakarara before he heads for the Kunene, Erongo and Karas regions.