For five years now, Germany has been in talks with Namibia about making reparation for the mass murder by German troops of some 80,000 Namibians between 1904 and 1908, when the territory was under German colonial rule.
Berlin has offered €10m in reparation, but descendants of the few survivors are seeking $4bn. Namibia’s president, Hage Geingob, has called the offer “unacceptable”, but said his government would continue to negotiate for a “revised offer”. The massacre, viewed by some historians as a forerunner of the Holocaust, occurred when the Nama and Herero people revolted against land seizures by German troops. The ongoing negotiations are being seen as a bellwether for other African countries demanding redress for decades of colonial brutality.
In June, King Philippe of Belgium expressed his “deepest” regrets for atrocities in the Congo, where some ten million people died during Belgian rule.
My take: We visited Namibia on a spectacular holiday. There are still dozens of tribal groups who speak “click” languages. Other languages include German, Africaans, and English. The desert that spills over into the ocean, is a wonderful sight, as is the wildlife. Elephants have apparently migrated south and find (reasonable) safety in Namibia. And we saw wild pangolin, among other copious wildlife. I highly recommend Namibia. The history is something else.