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Namibian traditional leaders reject German’s reparation offer

A group of traditional leaders representing Namibia's Herero and Nama tribes has rejected last week's offer by Germany to pay…

A group of traditional leaders representing Namibia’s Herero and Nama tribes has rejected last week’s offer by Germany to pay reparations to Namibia for the Nama-Herero genocide that claimed about 75,000 lives more than a century ago.The German government last week pledged to pay €1.1 billion (about US$1.2 billion) over the next 30 years in compensation to victims of the 1904-1908 Nama-Herero genocide by providing funding for social projects benefiting the descendants of the survivors.  

Under the arrangement, the Berlin authorities would fund infrastructure, health care and training projects in Namibia as a means of apologizing for the genocide during Germany’s colonial rule.

Namibia’s Council of Chiefs, however, on Monday rejected the German offer, urging President Hage Geingob’s government to renegotiate the deal because the amount was not directly linked to the magnitude of the reparations.

The traditional leaders described the amount offered as an “insult”, when compared to the reparations paid to Jews by the Nazi regime after the Second World War. 

It is believed that the German government has paid more than €71 billion in pensions and social welfare payments to Jews since 1952.

The Namibian chiefs want reparations of at least US$580 million paid over 40 years. 

The Namibian government is yet to pronounce itself on the agreement.

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