CORRECTION: Chiefs’ Assembly condemns violence in Gaza

WINDHOEK: The Chiefs’ Assembly (CA) of the Ovaherero and Ovambanderu traditional leaders expressed its solidarity with the civilian population of Gaza on Monday.

‘The Chiefs Assembly joins all progressive and peace-loving peoples of the world, in solidarity with the civilian population of Gaza, who are bearing the brunt of Israeli bombardments,’ it said in a statement released by co-chairpersons Jeffrey Kavendji and Mbakumua Hengari.

The CA acknowledged South Africa’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) genocide case against Israel, saying it ‘awaits the verdict of the application by SA for an order for Israel to stop the indiscriminate bombardments of Gaza with bated breath.’

South Africa is accusing Israel of committing the crime of genocide in Gaza in violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention, which both countries are party to.

‘We hope the ICJ, in terms of the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, delivers the Palestinians from near annihilation as
seems destined by Israel’s bombardments,’ said the statement.

The Chiefs’ Assembly however also criticised Namibia’s reference to apartheid in supporting South Africa and said it noted a perceived lack of genuine engagement on the Namibian genocide issue.

The statement quoted the Ministry of International Relations’ statement in support of South Africa, which said ‘It is against this background and its own history of being subjected to an illegal occupation and apartheid, that Namibia is, amongst others, participating in the ongoing advisory proceedings at the ICJ.’

They said this reference lacks contextual relevance, considering Namibia’s own historical context of genocide by Germany.

‘In the case of Namibia there is an appropriate context and/or ‘experience’… which is the genocide in Namibia against the Ovaherero and Nama,’ it said in reference to the 1904-1908 genocide, which led to the deaths of over 100 000 Herero and Nama at the hands of German colonial forces.

It said the reference of the ministry
‘s executive director, Ambassador Penda Naanda, to apartheid in a matter of genocide is ‘self-evident of the Namibian government’s disposition, posture, position and policy on the call by the descendants (of victims of the 1904-1908 genocide) for Germany to acknowledge their genocide.’

After more than five years of negotiations, Germany in May 2021 said it recognised it committed a genocide in Namibia and pleged more than 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in development aid over 30 years to benefit the descendants of the Herero and Nama, but the affected communities are not in agreement with the offer.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency