Hereros, Namas off to Berlin
Over 50 Ovaherero and Nama yesterday left for Berlin, Germany for the two-day Berlin Transnational Congress on Genocide, which is scheduled for Friday.
They will be joined by genocide fellow descendants from South Africa, Botswana, the United States, Canada, Britain and Germany.
The congress is being organised by the Ovaherero and Ovambanderu Genocide Foundation, with German non-governmental organisations. The aim is to promote an intense, open dialogue among the descendants of colonised people and colonialists, as well as network with civil society initiatives. Other joint events will be held alongside the congress.
Among those who left for Germany yesterday were Chief Sam Kambazembi of the Kambazembi Royal House and Chief Turimuro Hoveka of the Hoveka Royal House. Ovaherero Chief Advocate Vekuii Rukoro was expected to leave last night.
On Friday, the group will meet other activists from Black African Organisation based in Germany to protest at the opening of a special exhibition entitled ‘German Colonialism’.
After the congress on Saturday the group will join others to march in protest from Kunsthaus Kule, Auguststraße 10 to the Humboldt Forum.
Germany and Namibia are in the advanced stages of talks on officially recognising as “genocide” a colonial-era crackdown more than a century ago, in which more than 110 000 ethnic Herero and Nama were killed.
The systematic extermination of up to 100 000 Herero and some 10 000 Nama by German colonial troops is widely regarded as the first genocide of the 20th century, and a precursor to the Holocaust.
Tens of thousands of Herero and Nama were driven into the Namibian desert to die of starvation and dehydration.