Former president Hifikepunye Pohamba has expressed satisfaction on progress made so far by both the Namibia special envoy on genocide, Dr Zed Ngavirue, and his counterpart Ruprecht Polenz.
Pohamba made the remark after a briefing by Ngavirue on the latest developments on the genocide and reparation talks at the 120th commemoration of the Battle of Otjunda and the execution of the late Chief Kahimemua Nguvauva on Sunday.
Briefing the gathering, Ngavirue said the technical committee has completed the preparation of its case against the German government and the document is ready for endorsement by the Namibian government.
Ngavirue said the technical committee – composed of experts in various fields including representatives of the affected communities – has finalised the ‘important document’, but only after securing government approval will he submit the document to his German counterpart, the Special Envoy on Genocide, Polenz, when he is expected to visit next month.
Pohamba, who during his term in office ensured that the genocide and reparation talks gained momentum described the latest developments as a very good step ahead.
OvaMbanderu Chief Kilus Munjuku III Nguvauva also voiced his satisfaction with the progress made so far by the technical committee, saying the traditional authority is fully behind government’s technical committee on genocide chaired by Ambassador Tonata Itenge-Emvula.
“We are fully convinced that you have the necessary capabilities, qualifications, skills and credentials to represent all of us during this daunting task, since you are one of us and a direct descendant of the affected communities,” Nguvauva said.
Speaking at same occasion, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Namibia Christian Schlaga reassured the Namibian government that the German government of today is fully aware of the fact that German rule of the area known today as Namibia – which ended in 1915 – with all the atrocities committed against the Herero, the Nama and other communities undoubtedly caused deep wounds and left many scars on the souls of the descendants of the victims.
“Colonial rule also left serious marks on the economic structure and social fabric of the country,” he said, adding that the South African apartheid rule that followed deepened those wounds and scars to such an extent that it is very difficult for independent Namibia to undo the political, economic and social results of the previous decades.
However, he said, during his first nine months in Namibia, he witnessed that Namibia has come a long way towards achieving this goal.
“We know that those bitter and painful events of more than 110 years back are still causing pain today and that they cast a shadow over the relationship between Germany and Namibia,” he said.