Colonial-era crimes – atrocities: Namibia slams German payments as too low

  • It is not enough for Germany to pay 1.1 billion euros (about 1.2 billion Swiss francs) to Namibia under the reconciliation agreement.
  • This was stated by Vice President of Namibia Nangolo Mbumba on the occasion of the official presentation of the agreement.
  • After years of negotiations, Germany and the former colony agreed a reconciliation agreement and a payment in development aid at the end of May.

In Namibia, German payments in connection with the reconciliation agreement were criticized as being too low due to colonial-era atrocities over a hundred years ago.

I don’t think any Namibian believes that money is enough to make up for everything that has happened.

On Friday, Vice President Nangolo Mbumba said in the formal presentation of the agreement that the amount of more than one billion euros agreed upon by the two governments is not enough. This does not adequately cover the original amount of compensation claimed.

“I don’t think any Namibian believes that money is enough to make up for everything that has happened.” But they are historic decisions that should have been made. Mbomba said if the country could get more money from Germany, it would have been done for Namibia in terms of reconciliation.

German atrocities against Herero and Nama

After years of negotiations, the German government and Namibia agreed a reconciliation agreement at the end of May. In this regard, Germany recognizes the events of the colonial era of the German Empire at the beginning of the twentieth century in what is now Namibia, in particular the atrocities committed against the Herero and Nama ethnic groups as genocide.


In Germany, some people protested that development aid was not enough, and that compensation payments to grandchildren were appropriate.

Keystone / Archives

As a gesture of acknowledgment of the suffering it has caused, Namibia and the descendants of the victims will be supported by a €1.1 billion program for reconstruction and development.

Between 1904 and 1908, German Reich forces violently suppressed uprisings in what was then the colony of German Southwest Africa and committed atrocities against the Herero and Nama ethnic groups.

Delegation from Namibia that in 2011 German atrocities ended


Members of the Namibian government delegation were invited to Berlin in 2011 to receive the remains of their ancestors.

Keystone / Archives

Tens of thousands died. A senior Herero representative already described the agreed amount as a bit of an insult last week.

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