Namibia strongly condemned Germany for refusing to support South Africa’s complaint against Israel at the International Court of Justice. This issue has reignited historical tensions between Namibia and Germany dating back to the colonial period in the early 20th century.
Historical Background and Reactions
Historically, Germany and Namibia negotiated for years to shed light on events between 1904 and 1908, marked by the first genocide of the 20th century. German settlers arrived, seized land, displaced people, and stole livestock from Namibians, including various ethnic groups like the Herero, Nama, Damara, and San, leading to devastating consequences for the Namibian population. Namibia’s history under German colonization is marked by injustice and suffering.
Faced with oppression, the Herero people rose in 1904 under the leadership of Samuel Maererou. They courageously fought the Germans and even managed to negotiate a temporary agreement. However, German Lieutenant Lota Vontrota rejected the agreement and decided to annihilate the Namibian population.
Armed with some of the world’s most powerful forces at the time, the Germans launched a brutal campaign, pushing back Namibians, taking no prisoners, and inflicting inhumane consequences on men and women. This genocide occurred just before World War I, highlighting the cruelty of German occupation.
Namibian survivors were placed in concentration camps in their own country, facing diseases, extreme hardships, and significant losses. For a long time, Germany refused to acknowledge these atrocities, exacerbating the trauma inflicted on the Namibian population.
Namibia’s president expressed deep concern over Germany’s rejection of the complaint, emphasizing its ignorance of the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza. Namibia highlighted the massive displacement of civilians in Gaza, underscoring its commitment to justice and historical memory.
Germany chose to vouch for Israel, rejecting the genocide accusation by South Africa and claiming that Hamas aims to annihilate Israel. This decision elicited mixed reactions, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressing gratitude to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Namibia’s Call for a Review of the Decision
Namibian President Hage Geingob urged Germany to reconsider its decision to intervene as a third party in the case before the International Court of Justice. This gesture was labeled as an “impulsive decision” by the Namibian leader, emphasizing the importance of letting justice follow its course impartially.
Namibia, a Lone Voice in Africa
Namibia’s position in this matter contrasts with that of other African countries. The Namibian president openly criticized other African nations for not supporting South Africa in its advocacy for Palestinians. Only Morocco has shown potential future support, highlighting a division within the African continent on this issue.
Reflections on African Brotherhood
The Namibian president’s reflections underscore a profound disappointment with the lack of African solidarity in this matter. The notion of brotherhood is questioned, and it becomes crucial to act rather than merely claim fraternal ties.
The ongoing case involving Germany, South Africa, and Israel has revived historical wounds between Namibia and Germany. Namibia stands as a lone voice in Africa, openly criticizing Germany’s actions and calling for a review of its decision. This complex case also highlights divisions within the African continent regarding international solidarity.