Affected communities of the 1904-1908 genocide committed by German forces against the Nama, Ovaherero, and Ovambanderu people have called for the speedy promulgation of the National Genocide Remembrance Day.

This call was made during the commemoration in the capital today.

Retired SWANU MP Usutuaije Maamberua had in 2016 proposed that May 28 be declared National Genocide Remembrance Day, as it was on that day that the genocide officially ended when all concentration camps in Namibia were ordered to close in 1908.

Maamberua said, while the government is preparing itself to gazette the day, descendants of the genocide will for now continue to commemorate the day on May 28th.

This comes after countrywide consultations, and tabling of the report by the Legal and Constitutional Committee of Parliament and recommendations to adopt the proposed date.

The report was eventually unanimously agreed upon in 2020, but it has not yet been gazetted.

"The commemorations of this nature shall be and remain an important factor in the context of building a national identity as the country keeps trying to break through the trauma of the 1904/1908 genocide, subsequently public remembrance of the atrocities ought to be regarded as a duty and one of the main elements on the road to reconciliation, justice, restitution, and equity."

The Chairperson of the Chief's Assembly Sam Kambazembi equally noted that reparative justice is far from over and took time to address concerns around the Joint Declaration between Namibia and Germany.

Kambazembi reiterated that the joint declaration has been long dead before it was conceptualized due to the manner in which negotiations were structured.

"There is no denying that the issue of genocide, apology and reparations with the envisaged UN intervention is reaching the Rubicon. Needless, this calls the descendants themselves to equally put their house in order, a process that we as traditional leaders have already embarked upon, hence the Okandjoze Memorandum of Understanding, in which we pledge to speak with one voice on the issue of reparations and not to allow ourselves to be divided and ruled."

During the commemoration at the Independence Memorial Site, solidarity messages from the diaspora, churches MPs and political parties also poured in.



Celma Ndhikwa