The recent decision by Namibia to vote against the anti-genocide motion at the 72nd UN General Assembly’s agenda for has left many Namibian’s with more questions than answers.
And rightly so, Namibians are beginning to ponder as to whether government is fully aware some of its decisions and their implications on future engagements. Last week, Australia and Ghana suggested that the motion – Responsibility to Protect and the Prevention of Genocide, War Crimes, Ethnic Cleansing, and Crimes Against Humanity – should be included on the 72nd UN General Assembly’s agenda.
Namibia joined 20 other states including the notorious North Korea, Cuba, Myanmar and Pakistan among others to vote against humanity. Namibians are still trying to make out what government means by procedural vote, perhaps the delegation should give a detailed explanation as soon as they return.
To add insult to injury and blow our minds into the wilderness, Namibia’s vote against humanity comes at a time when we have instituted a N$400 billion lawsuit against Germany for over the atrocities it committed to the Nama and Ovaherero communities during the War of National Resistance (1904-1908 genocide).
Similarly, the vote comes at a time when an international inquiry has been launched into the alleged killings, detentions and torture of Namibians by the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (Plan), SWAPO’s military wind during the liberation struggle. To draw you closer, between 1904 and 1908, around 100 000 Namas and Ovaherero people died at the hands the German imperial forces.
Meanwhile, during the liberation struggle, about 4000 young Namibians were incarcerated in the dungeons of Lubango. At present, only less than 200 returned home in 1989 when the implementation of the UN Resolution 435 came into effect while over 3800 of those are unaccounted for as – this happened under the auspices of the present day ruling party, SWAPO.
Both atrocities, the Lubango dungeons and the 1904-1908 genocide fall in the bracket of crimes against humanity.
Crime against humanity are acts that are deliberately committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack or individual attack directed against any civilian or an identifiable part of a civilian population. This mainly includes among others murder; massacres; dehumanization; ethnic cleansing; forced disappearances, and unethical human experimentation – which befits the atrocities that were committed against Namibians by both SWAPO and Germany.
To this end, government is hell-bent that an inquiry into the infamous ‘dungeons’ Lubango not be carried out.
On the opposing end, victims of the ‘dungeons’ demand for a probe into the saga and a formal apology against them which they deem imperative in the closure of this dark chapter. While government is adamant that a probe into the dungeons never sees the light of day – the very same government is unwavering in its demand for reparation and atonement from the Germans on the crimes that it committed.
However, Namibia’s recent vote could backfire particularly in the country’s quest to ever get reparations from Germany. This to say, Germany may as well dismiss genocide talks on the basis that our government voted against the aforesaid motion – it is indeed a logical option for the Germans at this juncture.
To support government’s stance, international relations minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah unconvincingly said the vote was “procedural”.
This is despite the fact that Namibia is part of the Group of 77 developing countries, the majority of which voted in favour of the motion.
As such, the recent conduct by the Geingob-led administration has brought us to question whether or not our leaders are in the know of their actions, or they could be suffering from schizophrenia, a logical conclusion at this stage.