Namibia asks Germany to negotiate genocide deal

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Namibia said Thursday it had asked Germany to renegotiate the genocide agreement reached last year between the two governments, but gave no details of the changes being sought.

Germany last year acknowledged it had committed genocide in colonial-era Namibia and promised more than a billion euros (dollars) in financial support to descendants of the victims.

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But government has been under pressure from opposition which said the deal was flawed.

The request to review the deal was made in July following discussions in the Namibian National Assembly, Vice President Nangolo Mbumba announced on Thursday.

“Technical committees of Namibia and Germany discussed the issue and proposed that amendments be made to the joint declaration in the form of an addendum which was submitted to the German government,” Mbumba told a meeting of traditional leaders in the capital Windhoek.

“The government of Namibia is awaiting a response from the German side on what we have proposed,” he said.

In May 2021, after more than five years of bitter negotiations, Germany announced that it recognized that it had committed “genocide” in this southern African territory, which it colonized between 1884 and 1915.

It offered 1.1 billion euros in development aid spread over 30 years to benefit descendants of the indigenous Herero and Nama ethnic groups.

Germany stressed that the aid would be paid on a “voluntary basis” and that the agreement was not comparable to “reparations.”

Many Namibians rejected the agreement, saying that the descendants of the Herero and Nama had not been sufficiently involved in the negotiations.

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