Geingob should facilitate genocide negotiations – Luipert

By Uaueza Kanguatjivi

SHARK Island fourth-generation descendant survivor Sima Luipert says President Hage Geingob should not renegotiate with the Germans on the genocide but facilitate negotiations.

Known also as Death Island, Shark Island is one of the five concentration camps Germany set up in South West Africa between 1904 and 1908 when it carried out an extermination program. About 3,000 Herero and Nama men, women and children died on Shark Island between 1905 and 1907.

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Luipert’s comments came after Geingob criticised the German government for supporting Israel against South Africa’s case at the International Court of Justice. In a statement last week, Geingob said Germany’s decision raises troubling questions about its moral compass, given its historical responsibility for the first genocide of the 20th Century.

Luipert said the joint declaration between Namibia and Germany was founded on racist principles. In June 2021, the German and Namibian governments published a Joint Declaration to come to terms with the genocide in Namibia. The joint declaration between the two governments addresses historical atrocities committed by Germany during the colonial period in Namibia (1904-1908).

In the joint declaration, Germany acknowledged the war crimes, genocide, and human rights violations committed during the colonial war in Namibia from 1904 to 1908.  Specific mention was made of the atrocities against the Ovaherero, Nama, Damara, and San communities.

Germany recognised its moral responsibility for the colonisation of Namibia and the genocidal conditions during the specified period. Germany issued a formal apology for the actions of its forefathers and sought forgiveness from the descendants of the victims. Namibia accepted Germany’s apology, paving the way for a lasting mutual understanding and a special relationship between the two nations.

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Both governments committed to a thorough reconciliation and reconstruction process, emphasising a culture of remembrance and partnership.

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Both governments established a separate and unique reconstruction and development support program. This program aimed to assist the development of descendants of affected communities, with representatives participating in the decision-making process.

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