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Namibia has now accepted a deal from Germany to pay reparations for colonial era genocide at the beginning of the last century.
The slaughter of more than 100,000 people by the Germans took place when Namibia was a German colony known as South-West Africa.
The Herero and Nama ethnic groups in Namibia had rebelled against German rule in response to the expropriation of their land and cattle by Germany.
The head of the military administration in the region, Lothar von Trotha, ordered the massacre in response to the uprising.
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The indigenous Herero and Nama people had to flee their lands. Those killed were people found trying to return to their expropriated lands.
About 65,000 of the 80,000 Herero and 10,000 of an estimated 20,000 Nama people are thought to have died.
According to many published reports, victims were subjected to harsh conditions in concentration camps, and some had their skulls sent to Germany for scientific experiments.
Official negotiations between the Germans and Namibia have been going on for the past five years.
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Germany formally acknowledged that the atrocities constituted genocide in 2015 and has since been negotiating a restorative justice deal.
Last year, the Namibian government said in a statement that while it “agreed to negotiate the issue of redress (reparations), which the German Government consistently referred to as “healing the wounds”, Germany has declined to accept the term “reparations”.
Germany refused to use the term “reparations” in negotiations with the Jews and the State of Israel in their agreement signed at Luxemburg in 1952 and wants to use adopt same approach with Namibia.
Namibia said it “found the terminology “healing the wounds” inadequate, and that demand is currently discussed under the rubric of “Reconciliation and Reconstruction Programme”.
The statement added that “The current offer for reparations made by the German Government remains an outstanding issue and is not acceptable to the Namibian Government.”
But Namibia’s special envoy on the genocide, Zed Ngavirue, on Monday told the UK Times newspaper that they had fruitful negotiations with Germany on the matter without disclosing the details.
As part of the deal, Namibia will accept a formal apology from the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for the atrocities committed against the Nema-Herero people.
Germany will also provide compensation by funding social projects benefiting the descendants of the survivors of the genocide.