It is high time to tender an apology to the Namibian people: Steinmeier

WINDHOEK: Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier says it is high time that Germany apologises to Namibia for the genocide it inflicted on the Nama and Ovaherero people between 1904 and 1908. He was speaking at the memorial service of the late President Hage Geingob here on Saturday. Geingob died on 04 February and is set to be buried on Sunday. Steinmeier said he spoke to Geingob late last year and the Namibian leader's wish was for Namibia and Germany to successfully conclude the joint declaration 'in order to bring the special relationship between the two countries to a new level.' He stressed that Germany remains committed to the path of reconciliation. 'Reconciliation is not about closing the past, it is about taking responsibility for our past - and it is a commitment to a better future together. I hope I will be able to return to this country very soon and under different circumstances, because I am convinced that it is high time to tender an apology to the Namibian people. My only regret is th at our friend, the great President Geingob, will not be there to finish the process he started,' Steinmeier said. The declaration acknowledges Germany's responsibility for the 1904-1908 genocide and commits to reparations and development support for affected communities. The affected communities and Government are however not in agreement with the Euro 1.1 billion offered by Germany as a final settlement, compared to the damage inflicted on the communities. Source: The Namibia Press Agency