This is a very important organized by ISD Berlin – Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland, Berlin Postkolonial and Dekoloniale.
- Sima Luipert (NTLA)
- Israel Kaunatjike – Alliance No Amnesty on Genocide
- Deborah During – B90 Die Grunen
- Karen Taylor – EOTO e.v
23rd February, 2022
Time? 6 pm CET or 7 pm CAT or 8 PM EAT
Not at eye level? Discussing the Continuities of 1904-08«
After several years of negotiations, a “Joint Declaration” on the German genocide of the Ovaherero and Namas 1904-08 was presented by the governments of Namibia and Germany in May 2021.
This declaration has met with strong protests within the genocide-affected communities and also on the part of Namibia’s opposition parties. To date, the parliament in Windhoek has not yet given its vote on it.
Nama and Ovaherero victims’ associations – especially the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA) and the Ovaherero Traditional Authorities (OTA) – have protested against these bilateral negotiations all along.
Now they are calling for a new start and for the participation of their independent and self-elected representatives.
To this end, they have started an online petition addressed to Germany’s new Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock. In November 2020, while still in opposition, her Green Party had not only officially supported the Ovaherero and Namas’ claim for self-representation. They had also demanded a full legal recognition of the genocide under international law.
On 26 January 2022, NTLA and OTA held an online press conference, which was also the kick-off for the Ovaherero and Nama Genocide Lectures, which will now take place every fortnight.
These lectures are organized in cooperation with solidarity initiatives in Germany. They are meant to contribute to public education about the genocide and its traumatic consequences for the Ovaherero and Namas.
Germany’s Foreign Office reacted on the same day. Its spokesperson made it clear that the 1904-08 genocide would still not be recognized by Germany under the terms of international law. He welcomed the fact that individual Ovaherero and Namas were included in the bilateral negotiations by the Namibian government.
However, self-elected and independent representatives of the affected communities could not be accepted as equals: “Only the Namibian government”, Germany’s position has been since 2015, “can be negotiating partner at eye level”.
How should Germany’s continued refusal to fully acknowledge the genocide of the Ovaherero and Namas be assessed?
What can be said about its categorical exclusion of direct negotiations with the descendants of the genocide victims?
Last but not least, what is to be made of the Green parliamentary group’s demands of November 2020 and the positions of the Foreign Office now headed by its party?
We invited its new leadership, the German Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, for 23 February 2022 for a detailed presentation of her position but received a negative response.
We are therefore pleased that the Green Member of the Bundestag Deborah Düring, member of the Committee on Cooperation and Development, has agreed to exchange directly with the initiators of the Ovaherero and Namas online petition Sima Luipert (NTLA) and Israel Kaunatjike (Alliance No Amnesty on Genocide).
The panel will be moderated by Karen Taylor, Head of Political Communication of Each One Teach One EOTO e.V.
Join the webinar here: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84167665619
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