Renegotiate the genocide agreement WITH US, the surviving Nama & Ovaherero NOW!

Renegotiate the genocide agreement WITH US, the surviving Nama & Ovaherero NOW!

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German Version
We are Nama representative Sima Luipert and Herero activist Israel Kaunatjike. As the new German Foreign Minister, Mrs. Baerbock, we call on you to restart the failed German-Namibian intergovernmental negotiations on the genocide of our ancestors WITH US!
For this we demand an inclusion of our self-elected Nama and Ovaherero representatives!

Like many of our sisters and brothers, we too have German ancestors. For when we Nama and Ovaherero resisted German colonial foreign rule in 1904-08, we were not only brutally murdered, driven into the desert to die of thirst or forced to flee into other lands, tortured and killed in concentration camps and forced to do hard labor in chains. No, our ancestors were also systematically raped.
But the genocide committed by Germany does not only run through our family histories. It also determines our present existence. To this day, 70% of Namibia's arable land is in the hands of white settlers, a large portion of whom are of German descent. After the expropriation by the Germans, we Nama and Ovaherero did not get back our land and cattle. Many of us are still live in extreme poverty and in reservations today.

On top of these historical traumas, the "reconciliation agreement" of 2021, vehemently criticized by us and the Namibian opposition parties, was negotiated with the Namibian government under the direction of conservative German politician Ruprecht Polenz (CDU). Our two largest associations, the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA) and the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA), were excluded from this government deal. This is a scandal and makes us sad and angry!

This exclusion of our non-governmental organizations not only contradicts a resolution of the Namibian Parliament from 2006, which was introduced by the then Paramount Chief of the Ovaherero himself. Namibia and Germany are also violating the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Communities of 2007, which declares in Article 18 that our self-elected representatives are entitled to have a say. 

Germany has also granted this right to the victims of the genocide of the Jews of Europe. Thus, since the negotiations on the Luxembourg Agreement in 1952, they have been represented not only by the government of Israel, but also by the civil society Claims Conference. This represents the interests of numerous Jewish non-governmental organizations in Israel and worldwide. Similarly, the government of Namibia cannot speak for us Nama and Ovaherero alone, as we are ethnic minorities in our own country. Moreover, parts of our communities have been displaced to South Africa, Botswana and Angola.

Germany boasts of its self-critical culture of remembrance, especially regarding the commemoration of the Holocaust. German colonialism, however, is too often swept under the rug - in contrast to official lip service. 

Yet Germany's intended annihilation of our communities was a preliminary stage on the road to the Holocaust. The first German concentration camps were established in our country. Immediately after the genocide, the anthropologist Eugen Fischer conducted racist studies in the colony of "German Southwest Africa". His contributions to "racial hygiene" strongly influenced Hitler's worldview and the anti-human policies of the Nazis. At the same time, in many places in Germany to this day, the perpetrators are glorified instead of the genocide victims being commemorated. In Hamburg and Bonn, even General Lothar von Trotha, who was primarily responsible for the genocide, is honored. In Germany's official commemoration practices, the genocide of the Nama and Ovaherero plays virtually no role, and even the Namibian government rarely commemorates it.

Last year's "reconciliation agreement" negotiated between the German and Namibian governments is a farce and, on the contrary, has hurt us deeply. Ms. Baerbock, make up for the mistakes of the conservative negotiator on the German side: stand by your party's 2020 demands and negotiate with us too - equally, inclusively and without preconditions. The Ovaherero Traditional Authority and the Nama Traditional Leaders Association represent over 90% of our communities and are therefore legitimate stakeholder representatives. They also advocate for the concerns of Ovaherero and Nama living in the diaspora. Mrs. Baerbock, talk WITH US - not ABOUT US: only in this way is real reconciliation possible!

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At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!