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Genocide negotiations stall

Publish date: 07 August 2017
Issue Number: 737
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: General

Germany had promised an apology to Namibia for colonial-era genocide before general elections in September this year. However, Deutsche Welle notes that negotiations between both governments drag on with neither side agreeing on key issues. ‘I do not want to say at this stage when we'll reach the end,’ said Ruprecht Polenz, the German Government's special envoy for the negotiations with Namibia. Since December 2015, both governments have been locked in negotiations about colonial-era massacres, carried out by German troops in the former colony between 1904 and 1908. An estimated 75 000 people are believed to have been killed after members of the Herero and Nama ethnic group rebelled against German rule. Germany responded with brutal force that included massacres, forced deportations and forced labour. Some sources put the death toll even higher. The report says despite mounting pressure from civil society, Germany has so far failed to apologise for the crimes. Last year, notes the report, the government used the term ‘genocide’ for the first time for the crimes that were committed.

Full Deutsche Welle report