Ngavirue appointed as special envoy on genocide

November 5th, 2015 | by New Era Staff Reporter

Zed Ngavirue 3 1Government has appointed long-serving Ambassador Dr Zed Ngavirue as the special envoy to lead deliberations with the German Government on the 1904-1908 genocide.

At a media briefing yesterday, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, announced that Ngavirue who was appointed by President Hage Geingob will engage with his German counterpart on the evils committed mainly against the Ovaherero and Namas.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said that over the last three years, a number of high-level visits and discussions on the way forward took place. Recently, Nandi-Ndaitwah had a meeting with her German counterpart, Frank Walter Steinmeier, in New York.

"All these interactions have brought us to a point where we are now able to formalize and further intensify the cdu bild 20070628001407dialogue. To this end, the two governments have agreed to appoint special envoys to spearhead this process," stated Nandi-Ndaitwah.


click on Read More to continue reading the New Era article and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs' press release on the appointment of Mr Ruprecht Polenz, former member of parliament of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and chairperson of the standing committee on foreign affairs until 2013, as the German special envoy on genocide.

ckick here to read the 04th of November 2015 Deutsche Welle interview with Mr Polenz on his appointment: Polenz: 'Germany and Namibia need a common understanding of the past' und in Deutsch: Polenz: "Ich habe Erfahrung mit heikler Au├čenpolitik"

12194804 635702749865751 4918354505509474779 oclick on the photo to enlarge the picture, and click here to view more photos of the press conference on the facebook-site of the Ministry of Interantional Relations and Cooperation (MIRC)

photo: left, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Honourable Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and Ambassador Dr Zed Ngavirue


The Namibian Government established diplomatic relations with the German Government in February 1991. Shortly before Namibia's independence, the German parliament acknowledged a special moral and historic responsibility towards Namibia.

"The Namibia-German bilateral relationship is born out of a painful colonial past. The atrocities committed in our country by Germany from 1904 to 1908 have left a deep scar on our national psyche," reflected the international relations minister.

Consultations to get the communities' input will commence soon, said Nandi-Ndaitwah, who explained that the consultations were halted due to "misunderstandings with communities".

Paramount Chief Vekuii Rukoro and the chairperson of the Nama Genocide Technical committee, Ida Hoffman, visited Germany in July this year.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said she could not say when the next batch of skulls would be repatriated to Namibia.

"This issue has been handled by the ministry responsible for culture," she said.

Ngavirue was Namibia's Ambassador to the European Union (EU) as well as to Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.


Press Release German Federal Foreign Office on the appointment of Mr Ruprecht Polenz:

Pressemitteilung in Deutsch

Foreign Minister Steinmeier on relations with Namibia

Since last year we have been engaged in a dialogue based on mutual trust with the Government of Namibia with a view to finding a joint approach to the painful colonial past.

I have discussed the way forward with my Namibian counterpart in Berlin and, most recently, in New York at the end of September.

We think that the time has come to intensify and formalise this exchange between the Governments of our two countries. We have agreed that both sides will appoint a distinguished interlocutor to pursue this dialogue.

I am grateful to Ruprecht Polenz, the long-serving Chairman of the German Bundestag Committee on Foreign Affairs, for accepting this office.

Our aim is, in further talks with the Namibian Government, to reach a common assessment of the past and, on that basis, to identify ways of developing strategies to shape our continued bilateral relations.

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