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USA: Namibia's Herero people sue Germany over 20th century genocide03:00

USA: Namibia's Herero people sue Germany over 20th century genocide

United States, New York City
July 31, 2018 at 05:33 GMT +00:00 · Published

Representatives of the Namibian Herero people filed a lawsuit against Germany in the US Southern District Court in New York City on Tuesday, over a genocide that took place in the beginning of the 20th century during Germany's colonial presence in South West Africa.

Representatives of the Herero people gathered outside the court in traditional Herero attire and demanded recognition and reparations over the genocide carried out by General Lothar von Trotha in 1904 against the Herero people and in 1908 against the Nama people.

For the chairperson of the Ovaherero Genocide Foundation Esther Utjiua with this lawsuit "history will be written, even [a] loss will also be written and this will serve as a case study."

According to Paramount Chief of the Herero people Vekuii Rukoro what is different this time is "that you can find a written extermination order, that was issued by Germany, to exterminate Herero and Nama people."

"It was a thought-out well campaign that was carried out through a region extermination order in 1904 issued against the Herero people, and in 1905 issued against the Nama people. By Germany," he added.

The biggest challenge that the plaintiffs are facing is that "the court has to decide the difficult issue of whether a Federal Court here in New York has sufficient jurisdiction to decide that question," said attorney McCallion.

Germany demanded that Judge Laura Taylor Swain abstain form this case due to lack of jurisdiction. The judge hasn't decided on Germany's motion to dismiss the case yet.

In 1904, the Herero rebelled against the colonial rule of Germany and the people of Nama followed. General Lothar von Trotha was responsible of suppressing the rebellion with the use of violence and extensive starvation practices that led to the death of tens of thousands.

After discovering an 'extermination order' the United Nations classified it as as the first genocide of the 20th century in 1985. Only in 2015, Germany officially recognised it as a "genocide" and "part of a race war," they refused however to pay reparations. Since then, negotiations have begun between the two countries.

USA: Namibia's Herero people sue Germany over 20th century genocide03:00
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Representatives of the Namibian Herero people filed a lawsuit against Germany in the US Southern District Court in New York City on Tuesday, over a genocide that took place in the beginning of the 20th century during Germany's colonial presence in South West Africa.

Representatives of the Herero people gathered outside the court in traditional Herero attire and demanded recognition and reparations over the genocide carried out by General Lothar von Trotha in 1904 against the Herero people and in 1908 against the Nama people.

For the chairperson of the Ovaherero Genocide Foundation Esther Utjiua with this lawsuit "history will be written, even [a] loss will also be written and this will serve as a case study."

According to Paramount Chief of the Herero people Vekuii Rukoro what is different this time is "that you can find a written extermination order, that was issued by Germany, to exterminate Herero and Nama people."

"It was a thought-out well campaign that was carried out through a region extermination order in 1904 issued against the Herero people, and in 1905 issued against the Nama people. By Germany," he added.

The biggest challenge that the plaintiffs are facing is that "the court has to decide the difficult issue of whether a Federal Court here in New York has sufficient jurisdiction to decide that question," said attorney McCallion.

Germany demanded that Judge Laura Taylor Swain abstain form this case due to lack of jurisdiction. The judge hasn't decided on Germany's motion to dismiss the case yet.

In 1904, the Herero rebelled against the colonial rule of Germany and the people of Nama followed. General Lothar von Trotha was responsible of suppressing the rebellion with the use of violence and extensive starvation practices that led to the death of tens of thousands.

After discovering an 'extermination order' the United Nations classified it as as the first genocide of the 20th century in 1985. Only in 2015, Germany officially recognised it as a "genocide" and "part of a race war," they refused however to pay reparations. Since then, negotiations have begun between the two countries.

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