Windhoek-The Ovaherero Traditional Authority’s spokesperson, Uazuva Kaumbi, has said the authority shall never incite the Ovaherero and Nama people against Namibians of German descent.
Kaumbi stated this on Monday, while reacting to the Namibia-German Foundation which claimed in a statement that recent utterances allegedly by Ovaherero Chief Advocate Vekuii Rukoro could lead to German-speaking Namibians being a target of violent attacks.
Kaumbi said the Ovaherero, Nama and the German-speaking Namibians have lived together peacefully and “will continue to negotiate a difficult past with each other in our daily lives and dealings”.
“We know that German-speaking Namibians as citizens of Namibia maintain good relations with all population groups, because we have regular consultations with them on many issues of mutual interest, including the issue of the genocide and our collective desire to have it resolved in all our interests,” Kaumbi stated.
“We do not need to be told that by a foundation that styles itself ‘Namibian-German Foundation’ and yet seeks to speak on behalf of Namibians of German descent.
“Wearing blinkers as they have done on the issue of genocide and which they lack the courage to acknowledge, the Namibian-German Foundation may not have heard of the term radicalisation amongst the dispossessed and disempowered,” Kaumbi said.
He said this notion is being debated extensively in Europe and the Namibia-German Foundation may want to acquaint themselves with that debate.
Kaumbi says the Namibia-German Foundation arrogantly offers to play a mediation role, a role which they have rejected with the contempt it deserves.
“The Foundation is totally ill-informed to play such a role – they don’t seem to understand that Germany herself set a precedent in negotiating directly within a tripartite framework with the State of Israel and the Jewish Victims Groups represented by the Claims Conference. We as Hereros and Namas are asking for no less than adherence to that precedent,” Kaumbi said.
He said the foundation does not seem to appreciate that, contrary to their assertion, international law in fact, through amongst others the Convention on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to which both Namibia and Germany are signatories, enjoins state parties to ensure the direct and full participation of directly affected communities in seeking solutions pertaining to them.
“The Foundation seems ignorant of the fact that there is a large Herero and Nama diaspora in Angola, Botswana and South Africa – persons who are victims of genocide, which caused them to become citizens of those countries.”
Kaumbi said the Foundation has yet to interrogate German recognition of the Armenian genocide in contrast to her refusal to recognise the genocide she committed against the Hereros and Namas.
“At the root of such denial and the refusal to engage us directly is racism. We are not white Europeans – and thus in the eyes of Germany, we are black African savages who needed to be killed and cleared off our lands in order to make way for the ‘volk’ that needed a lebensraum,” said Kaumbi.