The German government is scheduled to formally ask for forgiveness from Namibia for the “crimes of German colonial rule”.
According to sources close to the German government, an official request for forgiveness will be made by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at a ceremony in the Namibian parliament.
“A decision on a possible trip by the Federal President will be made after the governments have reached a formal agreement and in close consultation with the Namibian side,” a spokesperson at the office of the Federal President said.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement on Friday that his country will support Namibia and the descendants of the victims with €1.1B for reconstruction and development and ask for forgiveness.
According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, between 1904 and 1908, German troops killed up to 80,000 of Herero and Nama people in Namibia in response to an anti-colonial uprising.
Namibia and German have been in talks since 2015 negotiating compensation for the massacre by German colonial forces.
German offered its first formal apology for the conflict in 2004.
Lieutenant General Lothar von Trotha, the Oberbefehlshaber (Supreme Commander) of the german forces in Keetmanshoop during the Herero uprising, 1904.
“The crimes of German colonial rule have long burdened relations with Namibia. There can be no closing of the book on the past. However, the recognition of guilt and our request for apology is an important step towards coming to terms with the crimes and shaping the future together,” the German Foreign Minister said.
“Our goal was and is to find a common path to genuine reconciliation in memory of the victims. This includes naming the events of the German colonial period in what is now Namibia, and in particular the atrocities in the period from 1904 to 1908, without sparing or glossing over them. We will now also officially call these events what they were from today’s perspective: a genocide,” Maas said.Source: furtherafrica.com
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