German MP wants affected communities included in genocide talks

By Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Windhoek

Visiting German Member of Parliament Niema Movassat has implored the Namibian government to include genocide victims in the ongoing genocide and reparation talks. In an interview with New Era yesterday, Movassat, a member of Germany’s Left Party, said he is of the view that if the descendants of genocide victims are excluded the negotiators might not come up with suitable compensatory measures to appease the communities affected by the genocide. “I think what is very important is that the OvaHerero and Nama communities are included,” he said, adding that a trialoque would be the best way to deal with the issue.
“Genocide happened to the Nama and the Ovaherero people. At the end we will have a solution by both governments, but the Herero and Nama people might say this is not what they want and that means we will be back to square one.”
Movassat and his delegation have been in the country for three days. He described his visit to the country as “fruitful” and “educational.”
“What I have found out is that the Ovaherero do not want money, but they want to be compensated with other things, in form of education and many others,” he said. He said the delegation visited graves in Okahandja and also spoke to traditional leaders and this gave them a better understanding of the plight of the affected communities.
Movassat arrived in Namibia on Tuesday and held talks with, amongst others, the committees of descendants of the victims of the 1904-1908 German genocide. Upon his arrival, he met with officials from the German Embassy here and discussed issues, such as natural resource management and land reform with representatives of the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ).
He also met with Speaker of the National Assembly Professor Peter Katjavivi and Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma.
Meanwhile, during the delegation’s meeting with traditional leaders in Okahandja yesterday Ovaherero Chief Vekuii Rukoro raised concerns about the exclusion of the affected communities in the ongoing reparation and genocide talks.
Rukoro told the visiting Germans that the affected communities were not surprised by the fact that the Namibian government excluded them from the negotiations, but reminded the delegation that they are still the key stakeholders in the genocide dialogue.
“The common colonial past, the special or cordial relations that your spokesperson, from your ambassador, visiting politicians and the like, so often lavishly speak about cannot otherwise be, had it not been for the fact that the first and only de facto and de jure German colonial contact was made between the Hereros and Namas in Hereroland and Namaland,” Rukoro said.He also handed over letters that the affected communities have written to the president of Namibia.



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