WINDHOEK: German Member of Parliament (MP) Niema Movassat will arrive in Namibia on Wednesday for, amongst other engagements, talks with the committees of descendants of the victims of the 1904-1908 German genocide.
Movassat, who is a member of Germany’s Left Party, said in a media statement issued on Tuesday that as part of his week-long visit, he will deliver a speech at the annual Red Flag Heroes’ Day commemoration scheduled to take place at Okahandja on Sunday.
“I am very much looking forward to my trip to Namibia from 22 August to 29 August 2012. I will deliver a speech at Red Flag Day in Okahandja on 26 August and meet many relevant stakeholders on the genocide issue, and some colleagues from the Namibian National Assembly on invitation of Chief Whip Peter Katjavivi in order to discuss possibilities of a more regular dialogue between our two parliaments,” he said.
Movassat is also a member of the Bundestag Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development.
The motion ‘Acknowledging the German Colonial Crimes in Former German South-West Africa as Genocide and Working towards Restorative Justice’, which was moved by the German Left Party Parliamentary (Bundestag) Group, was tabled by the German Bundestag in March 2012.
The tabling of the motion followed the return of 20 skulls believed to be that of OvaHerero and Nama people to Namibia from Berlin, Germany towards the end of last year.
A delegation of about 60 traditional OvaHerero and Nama community leaders last year travelled to Berlin to repatriate the 20 skulls.
While in Germany, the delegation also demanded that the German Government acknowledge the wiping out of OvaHerero and Nama people by the then German colonial troops in Namibia between 1904 and 1908 as a crime against humanity and genocide.
Apart from an official apology by the German Government for the descendants of the OvaHerero and Nama people, the Namibian delegation also want that government to pay reparations to the descendants of the victims of the said genocide.
The motion indicated that academic studies estimated that the war of extermination between 1904 and 1908 resulted in the deaths of up to 80 per cent of the OvaHerero people, as well as more than 50 per cent of the Nama and a large number of Damara and San people.
That motion also suggested a joint inter-parliamentary dialogue between the parliaments of the two countries on the repatriation of the remains of Namibian victims of the genocide, and supported the demand for reparations.