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Germany classifies actions in former colonies as genocide

Berlin - Germany recognized the suppression of the Herero and Nama uprisings in the former colonies of the German Empire as genocide. "I am happy and grateful that we have succeeded in reaching an agreement with Namibia on how to deal with the darkest chapter of our common history," said Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) on Friday.

After more than five years it was possible to bring the negotiations to a conclusion. "Our goal was and is to find a common path of genuine reconciliation in memory of the victims," ​​emphasized Maas. This includes “naming the atrocities in the period from 1904 to 1908 without glossing over them. We will now officially refer to these events as what they were from today's perspective: a genocide”.

Germany pays 1.1 billion euros to Namibia
The Social Democrat announced that "in the light of Germany's historical and moral responsibility" the descendants of the victims would be asked for forgiveness. To this end, the African country should be supported "as a gesture of recognition of the immeasurable suffering" with a program worth 1.1 billion euros for reconstruction and development. However, no legal claims to compensation could be derived from this.

Before the First World War, the German Empire in Africa owned the colonies of German East Africa, German South West Africa, Togo and Cameroon. In German South West Africa, today's Namibia, colonial troops put down Herero and Nama uprisings between 1904 and 1908. According to estimates, 50,000 to 70,000 members of the ethnic groups were killed.

In August 2018, Germany returned the Herero and Nama bones to Namibia. Representatives of the African country renewed their demands for reparations.

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