Namibia: Genocide Descendants Renew Calls for Unity

Swakopmund — Descendants of the 1904-1908 genocide should guard against disunity and rather watch out for the enemy that is trying by all means to destroy common purpose as internal and political squabbles have no place in their fight for justice for their forefathers.

This appeal was made by Ida Hoffmann, who is the chairperson of the Nama Genocide Technical Committee, at the annual genocide walk that took place on Saturday in Swakopmund.

Notably, some descendants of the Nama genocide victims were absent from the event that they have been attending for last past five years in support of a similar event that will take place on 2 April, also in Swakopmund.

Hoffmann, who is a former Swapo MP, told the gathering that instead of promoting division and other hidden agendas, the descendants should rather advocate for round-table discussions with the descendants of the German settlers so that they can learn, exchange views and move on.

“It is a sacred case, and should be handled with dignity and respect. Reparation money will not heal the wounds of the past as we lost our land and human dignity. I, therefore, call on all progressive forces in this country and abroad to join our call on descendant victims’ involvement in the negotiations on the Nama/Ovaherero genocide for this chapter of Namibian history to move towards a satisfactory and sustainable conclusion,” she appealed.

Hoffmann, who has been part of the discussions since 1992, also said that she observed, especially in the last few years, that the Namibian government is dividing the progressive forces that initiated and spearheaded the genocide discourse since independence.

“Being united will reduce and ultimately eliminate the opportunity for divide-and-rule tactics. Let’s seek restorative justice for descendant victims, and remember the ultimate fight is for restoring the dignity of our fallen heroes, and not to fight one another,” she reiterated.

Also speaking at the same event, Popular Democratic Movement president McHenry Venaani said the new German government wants to resolve the genocide and reparations’ matter.

However, he said, the descendants should be part of the discussions with the new government.

“Affected communities should be part of the discussions and negotiations. Hence, we are here to ignite the fire and sent a clear message that we will not relent in our course for justice and fair reparations. Currently, we are seeing the conflict in Ukraine. Germany pumped in billions in aid for Ukraine, but how about us whose forefathers suffered at the hands of their leaders?”, Venaani questioned.

He also urged all Namibians to take part in the commemorations as it is indeed a significant day, just like Cassinga Day and all other significant days that are observed in Namibian history.

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