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Current Affairs

Germany recognises colonial-era genocide in Namibia

Date: 01 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Germany has confessed for the first time its role in committing atrocities against the Herero and Nama people in Namibia.

 

Background

The incident goes back to the colonial days (1904-08) in Africa when Germany used to control. It has promised financial compensation for its actions.

 

Details

  • The area was earlier known as German South-west Africa. The German colonial settlers killed large number of people from local tribe for rebelling against the rule.

  • The German foreign minister has expressed his disappointment and said the incident would be remembered as genocide. The fund will be used for community projects.

 

Herero and Nama genocide

  • German colonial settlers had started settling in central highlands of the region, which was twice as large as Germany.

  • The local tribesman considered the foreign settlers as threat to their resources and land. The conflict reached a high point when Herero pastorals and later Nama opposed the settlers.

  • The German colonists and Herero tribe reached a compromise when a fight took place. Germany did not want a compromise but a military solution.

  • The German forces chased and killed Herero fighter in to the Kalahari desert. Out of the total force of 80,000 Hereros only 15,000 survived.

  • A similar incident took place with the Nama fighters when they too rebelled against the German colonialists. About 10,000 of them were killed.

 

Impact of the events

  • Some historians consider the event as the first genocide of 20th century. The two countries started a negotiation to reconcile the people.

  • Namibia refused the offer as unacceptable. Germany returned skeletal remains of Herero and Nama tribesmen that were used in experiments.

  • The descendents of Herero and Nama people have refused to accept the deal. They consider it as a PR stunt by Germany.