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Germany Admits Colonial-Era Genocide in Namibia

Country will fund $1.3B in development projects
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 28, 2021 2:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – Germany has reached an agreement with Namibia that will see it officially recognize as genocide the colonial-era killings of tens of thousands of people and commit to spending a total of $1.3 billion, largely on development projects. The accord announced Friday is the result of more than five years of talks with Namibia on the events of 1904-1908, when Germany was the southern African country's colonial ruler, the AP reports. Historians say German Gen. Lothar von Trotha, who was sent to what was then German South West Africa to put down an uprising by the Herero people in 1904, instructed his troops to wipe out the entire tribe. They say that about 65,000 Herero were killed and at least 10,000 Nama.

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"In the light of Germany's historical and moral responsibility, we will ask Namibia and the descendants of the victims for forgiveness,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement. "Our aim was and is to find a joint path to genuine reconciliation in remembrance of the victims," he said. “That includes our naming the events of the German colonial era in today's Namibia, and particularly the atrocities between 1904 and 1908, unsparingly and without euphemisms." The projects Germany will now fund are expected to stretch over a 30-year period and will cover areas such as land reform and rural infrastructure. Germany gained control of the desert country in the 1880s and surrendered the territory to South Africa in 1915. Namibia gained independence in 1990.

(Read more Namibia stories.)

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