Descendants of the victims of the 1904-1908 genocide gathered in Windhoek on Sunday for a remembrance event in honour of the thousands of people who perished during the conflict.
Former Member of Parliament (MP) Usutuaije Maamberua addressed the crowd and noted that they had gathered to demonstrate their fervent support for the declaration of 28 May as a national genocide remembrance day.
Maamberua was instrumental in introducing the motion for the establishment of a genocide remembrance day in parliament in 2016.
“While the government is preparing itself to officially designate the day, the descendants and people here are wholeheartedly welcoming the event ahead of the government’s formal declaration,” he stated.
The former MP noted that his 2016 motion received unwavering support, which led to a national consensus on selecting 28 May as Genocide Remembrance Day.
“It is a significant occasion to remember the lives that were lost, to stand in solidarity with the victims’ heirs, and to demonstrate unity aimed at ensuring that genocide never occurs again in Namibia, Africa, or elsewhere,” he said.
Maamberua called on the government to explain why there is no national holiday honouring the victims of the genocide for all Namibians and the descendants of those who perished in the atrocity.
Speaking on behalf of the Ovaherero and Ovambanderu Chiefs Assembly, Sam Kambazombi stated that the issues of genocide, apology, and reparations, along with anticipated UN intervention, have reached a critical point. He said the traditional chiefs have already signed the Okandjoze Memorandum of Understanding, in which they committed to advocate for reparations and to resist being divided.
“We hereby reiterate to both our Namibian government and its German counterpart that they will implement the joint declaration over our dead bodies, and if necessary, over the dead bodies of our future generations and generations after,” said Kambazombi.
The 1904-1908 genocide involved a series of mass killings, atrocities, and forced labour inflicted upon the Herero and Nama people by German colonial forces, which led to the deaths of over 100 000 people.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency