OvaHerero issue ultimatum to German government


OvaHerero leader, Chief Vekuii Rukoro on Saturday issued ultimatum to the German government in stepped-up efforts to have demands for reparation by the German government heard.
Issuing, what he termed a “Resistance Order”, Rukoro said the Herero will launch a programme of actions against German interests across the world to make people aware of Germany’s refusal to heed their call for reparation against atrocities committed against their people.
Rukoro made the remarks during a media conference here on Saturday.
The conference was symbolically held under one of the prominent trees in the area from which OvaHerero people, who got captured by the German colonial troops, were hanged.
The tree is known as Ngauzepo, OtjiHerero for 'it should be removed', in reference to the tree and its history.
Germany's occupation of Namibia, then South-West Africa, started in 1895 and ended in 1915, and many OvaHerero and Nampa people were killed during that period.
Rukoro said the Herero will take the cause for liberation to different regional and international organisations as a means of making the world realise their suffering at the hands of German colonial forces.
These bodies include the Southern African Development Community (SADC), African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN).
Describing the German government's stance on the reparation demands as “arrogance and neo-imperialistic tendencies”, Rukoro said the Herero will never give up the fight for reparation, but will soldier on with their demands.
“In response to such no-imperialistic war being imposed on us as oppressed people, our people have resolved to fight for their dignity as Africans with all legitimate means at their disposal. We will not relent on that until final victory is achieved in the form of restorative justice becoming a reality, however long it takes.”
Rukoro had over a year ago called on the German government to engage with the Herero directly on the issue of the 1904-1908 genocide, or risk unspecified action by the Herero.
He had marked 02 October 2015 as due date for such talks with the German government, failure of which he will announce a new position on the issue, hence Saturday's media conference.
On Thursday, OvaHerero Genocide Committee (OGC) member, Utjiua Muinjangue and Matu Hoffmann of the Nama Technical Committee on Genocide handed over a joint petition to the German Embassy in Namibia.
The petition was handed over one day ahead of the due date of 02 October 2015 given by the groups for Germany to respond to calls for reparation.
In the petition, the groups demand that the German government officially acknowledges that the genocide and war crimes against their ancestors were as a result of the extermination order issued by General Lothar von Trotha in 1904, to eliminate all OvaHerero and Nama people in Namibia.
They also demand that Germany offer an unqualified apology to the descendants of the victims targeted by the extermination order.
The German government has over the years refused to directly engage in dialogue with either the Herero or Nama, as it preferred doing so through the Namibian government as an elected and sovereign State.
Germany insists that it cannot, by virtue of it being a government, interact with the affected groups directly, as talks in this regard should be on a government to government level.



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