Germany for the first time says it committed genocide in Namibia during its colonial occupation.
German settlers killed tens of thousands of indigenous Herero and Nama people in 1904-1908 massacres – labelled the first genocide of the 20th century.
Germany says it had committed genocide in Namibia during its colonial occupation, with Berlin promising financial support worth more than one billion euros to aid projects in the African nation.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement:
“We will now officially refer to these events as what they are from today’s perspective: genocide.”
“In light of the historical and moral responsibility of Germany, we will ask forgiveness from Namibia and the victims’ descendants” for the “atrocities” committed.
In a “gesture to recognise the immense suffering inflicted on the victims”, the country will support the “reconstruction and the development” of Namibia via a financial programme of 1.1 billion euros ($1.34 billion).
The sum will be paid over 30 years, according to sources close to the negotiations, and must primarily benefit the descendants of the Herero and Nama.
However, he specified that the payment does not open the way to any “legal request for compensation”.
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