Germany also apologizes to Namibia for the ‘great torture’ that took place during the 1904-1908 genocide.
Germany first realized that it had killed Namibians during the colonial period more than a hundred years ago and pledged more than $ 1.2bn to support construction projects in Africa.
German settlers killed thousands of Herero and Nama people between 1904 and 1908, after the tribes rebelled against Berlin’s rule in what was then Germany South West Africa.
The survivors took them into the desert, where many had lived in labor camps for slave labor and many died of cold, malnutrition and exhaustion.
“We will now focus on the current state of affairs: the assassination,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement on Friday.
“In view of the history and morals of Germany, we ask for forgiveness from Namibia and the grandchildren of those who have been victims of the atrocities that have taken place,” he said.
As a sign of “recognition of the atrocities perpetrated by the victims”, Germany is also contributing to “reconstruction and development” in Namibia through a 1.1 billion ($ 1.34bn) economic program, he added.
The money will be disbursed over a period of 30 years, depending on what is close to the negotiations and should benefit Herero and Nama natives.
Maas said the agreed payment, which took place after more than five years of negotiations, does not open the door to a “legal claim for payment”.
Germany ruled Namibia from 1884 until it lost its colony during the First World War.
In 1904, tensions grew when the Herero – whose livestock and land were confiscated – arose, and soon after Nama entered.
General Lothar von Trotha of Germany, who had been sent to quell the uprising, ordered the execution.
At least 60,000 Hereros and about 10,000 Namas were killed between 1904 and 1908.
Colonial soldiers killed thousands; men, women, and children were driven away in the wilderness, where thousands of people died of thirst; and set up concentration camps, such as the one on Shark Island.
The violence has damaged relations between Berlin and Windhoek for many years.
The German government had previously acknowledged its “role in the process” in the killings but Berlin withheld the government’s apology to end its pay.
In 2015, it embarked on a special dialogue with Namibia on the issue and in 2018 it restored the skulls and remains of the victims who were used in colonial time trials to ensure that European countries are superior.
On Thursday, Namibian Presidential Spokesman Alfredo Hengari told Reuters news agency that a joint statement on the agreement was made by special envoys on May 15, at the end of the ninth round of talks on the issue.
Hengari also said that an apology from Germany was expected, adding that “the process can begin only after the President has spoken to the people concerned.”
Chief Herero Paramount Vekuii Rukoro told Reuters the site was “for sale”.
The monarch, who had sued Germany without compensation in the United States, said the alliance was not enough for the two territories, which had been “wounded” by German troops.
“We have a problem with this type of partnership, which we see as a complete supplier to the Namibian government,” Rukoro said.