June 09, 2021

Namibia: MPs Slam SWAPO, Germany ‘Genocide’ Deal

Namibia’s Parliament erupted into harsh words on Tuesday, 8 June, when opposition members criticised the sitting government over a historical, multi-billion-euro deal with Germany.

Last month, the ruling party – South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) – demanded reparations for the European country’s part in “the forgotten genocide” of the Herero and Nama indigenous people in Namibia between 1904 and 1908.

A few days later, Berlin issued an apology for the actions of their military during the time when the southern African nation was still a part of the former colonial power. The German government then negotiated a settlement of €1.1 billion to signify their “historical and moral responsibility.”

The negotiations initially started in 2015, but finally reached its landmark decision – the first of its kind – with the amount to be paid over the span of 30 years.

However, many opposition MPs claimed that SWAPO had sidelined their input, as well as the communities who were directly affected by the massacre.

Edson Isaacks, member of Landless People’s Movement Namibia, slammed the deal as a “substandard agreement.” His fellow parliamentarian, Utara Mootu, called it a “betrayal”.

The historical agreement will be signed by the two countries’ foreign ministers and other relevant parties on an unannounced date.