News that President Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to host Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany His Excellency Olaf Scholz on an Official Visit to Pretoria on Tuesday, 24 May 2022, comes at a time that we are seeing the ugly face of the open racist display in Europe that has left us questioning the selective favours shown on the neo-Nazis of Ukraine.
Germany apologized on May 28, 2021, for its role in the slaughter of Herero and Nama tribespeople in Namibia more than a century ago and officially described the massacre as genocide for the first time, as it agreed to fund projects.
Thousands of Herero and Nama people were killed by German colonial forces between 1904 and 1908 after the tribes rebelled against German rule of the colony, then named German South-West Africa.
Survivors were driven into the desert, where many ended up in concentration camps to be used as slave labour, many dying of cold, malnutrition and exhaustion.
Fast-forward to 2022, the Ukrainian war has once again brought to the fore this somewhat hidden racism across Europe against people of other races. The main victims have been black, Asians, and people of Middle Eastern origins.
First, many black African students were refused to board trains that were evacuating people running away from the bombs giving priority to neo-Nazis white Ukrainians. Second, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson instructed British citizens to open up their homes to fleeing Ukrainians announcing that the government will give incentives of up to 350 British pounds per month.
At the same time, Britain goes on to enter into a deal with the government of Rwanda to take in black Africans who would have reached the United Kingdom seeking asylum. These are to be arrested put in camps and deported to Rwanda in a move that has been condemned by the UNHCR as illegal under international law.
Ever since, we have seen billions of dollars polling into Ukraine from the Caucasian western countries. The World Bank and the IMF have been instructed to avail loans to Ukraine worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
Combining bilateral development, energy partnership, a green fund for Ukraine, humanitarian assistance, support in managing Covid-19 pandemic, military support, Germany alone, is Ukraine’s largest civilian bilateral donor.
All these translates to billions of dollars being spent in Ukraine alone. Compare to the small paltry 1 billion dollars compensation offered to the families of the Herero and Nama tribesmen. Besides, these 1 billion dollars was to be staggered for the next 30 years coming in droplets.
While the value of reparations is inadequate, voices of families of victims of genocide must be heard.
It is very clear that the Germany government does not value the lives of black people in Namibia and indeed across Africa as seen in the amount of money allocated as reparations to Namibia compared to that which is being given to Ukraine a neo-Nazi country.
On the eve of this visit by Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany His Excellency Olaf Scholz Official Visit to Pretoria, we would like to remind him that we the people of Africa note with disgust this selective and unfair dispensing of justice.
Our clarion call to Mr. Olaf is to please look into this injustice that your country has done in Namibia and please revisit the offer that you have made and revise it upwards. You should know that the lives of black people that were massacred in Namibia are priceless and therefore, only a fair compensation can make a difference in this regard.
Your country is always in the fore front of talking on human rights this, human rights that, and yet when it comes to application, you do it in a selective way. We call upon President Ramaphosa to raise this issue when he meets his counterpart in Pretoria next week. Aluta Continua!
Dr. Mustafa Mheta
Senior researcher/Head of Africa Desk
Media Review Network SA
Dean: School of Languages at Somali
National University (SNU) Mogadishu
Federal Republic of Somalia
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