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Descendants of the Nama and Ovaherero gathered at Lüderitz in the ||Kharas Region to commemorate 118 years since tens of thousands of their ancestors were killed by the Germans.

The three-day Genocide Remembrance, which started on Friday, was attended by the Ovaherero Traditional Authority and the Nama Traditional Leaders Association.

The Herero and Nama genocide was the massacre of more than 60,000 people on April 22, 1905, by German military forces ordered by General Lothar von Trotha.

Hundreds of Namas and Hereros were arrested and imprisoned at Shark's Island.

They were subjected to harsh treatment and forced labor, including constructing the railway line between Lüderitz and Keetmanshoop under extreme conditions.

Deodat Dirkse, the spokesperson of the Nama Traditional Leaders Association, read the translated version of Chief David Hanse from the !Kharakhoe ||Aes Traditional Authority.

The human remains of individuals, families, and targeted groups are today in institutions such as universities and museums and in unknown graves, but these human beings were God's perfect creation, and therefore we must forever remember them and appreciate their existence irrespective of the challenges we are facing."

Some prisoners at Shark Island were used in medical experiments, while their body parts were transported to Germany for further experimentation.

"This is a time to reflect and rededicate ourselves to the struggle for reparation. We, the Ovaherero and Nama descendants of the people who were brutalized here, shall never forget what happened to our forefathers because of those brutalities that have also left us permanent scars in our lives," said Prof. Mutjinde Katjiua, leader of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority under his faction.

Some of the descendants of the Nama and Ovaherero people from South Africa and Botswana also attended the three-day event.

"We have had many struggles in South Africa over the years to be recognized, and I want to use this opportunity to share with you that we have managed to put up traditional structures for the Nama people in seven out of nine provinces in South Africa. We are united as Namas in South Africa, and we thank our Namiban brothers and sisters for inviting us to such occasions where we can learn the history of our ancestors that crossed the Orange River many years ago," said Chief Carel Afrikaner from the Afrikaner Traditional Authority in South Africa.

"In the Western Cape alone, over 60% of the people living in the Cape Metro are of Nama descent. Now, this battle that ended in genocide is not an isolated battle; it started a long time ago. When people say that the war was an accident, it was never an accident; it was already planned a long time ago because if you look across Africa, you see the same pattern: the missionaries first, the dealers second, and the final stage is the war," Chief Charles Cooper from Botswana said.

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Natangwe Jimmy