Namibia indigenous groups sue Germany over early-1900s slaughter

Hereros chained during their 1904 rebellion against German colonialists. (Wikimedia Commons)
Updated 06 January 2017
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Namibia indigenous groups sue Germany over early-1900s slaughter

NEW YORK: Representatives of two indigenous groups have filed a class action suit in New York against Germany seeking reparations for an alleged genocide of their peoples by German colonial rulers over a century ago in what is now Namibia.
The suit filed by the Ovaherero and Nama people on Thursday in New York also demands that their representatives be included in negotiations between Germany and Namibia on the issue.
The two countries have been in talks about a joint declaration on the 1904-05 massacres. While Germany has acknowledged a genocide occurred, it has repeatedly refused to pay reparations.
The plaintiffs said they were bringing the class action suit “on behalf of all Ovaherero and Nama worldwide, seeking reparations and compensation for the genocide” suffered at the hands of the German colonial authorities.
They said they were also seeking a declaration of their right “to be included in any negotiation between Germany and Namibia” and that no settlements can be reached unless they are among the signatories.
The dispute harkens back to a period in the late 19th and early 20th century when South West Africa, now known as Namibia, was a German colony.
The suit alleges that from 1885 to 1903 about a quarter of Ovaherero and Nama lands — thousands of square miles — was taken without compensation by German settlers with the explicit consent of German colonial authorities.
It also claims that German colonial authorities turned a blind eye to rapes by colonists of Ovaherero and Nama women and girls, and the use of forced labor.
Tensions boiled over in early 1904 when the Ovaherero rose up, followed by the Nama, in an insurrection crushed by German imperial troops.
The suit alleges that as many 100,000 Ovaherero and Nama people died in a campaign of annihilation led by German General Lothar von Trotha.
The plaintiffs include Vekuii Rukoro, identified as the paramount chief of the Ovaherero people, David Frederick, chief and chairman of the Nama Traditional Authorities Association, and the non-profit Association of the Ovaherero Genocide in the USA, Inc.


Former US VP Biden announces 2020 run for White House

Updated 25 April 2019
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Former US VP Biden announces 2020 run for White House

  • Biden joins an already crowded list of presidential candidates running from the Democratic party
  • He served eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president

WASHINGTON: Former US Vice President Joe Biden announced Thursday he is entering the 2020 White House race, joining an already crowded list of candidates running on the Democratic Party platform.
In a tweet accompanied by a three-and-a-half minute video, Biden said he couldn’t stand idly by while US President Donald Trump “fundamentally altered the character of this nation.”
“The core values of this nation... our standing in the world... our very democracy... everything that has made America — America — is at stake,” he wrote in the post.
“That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States.”
Even before his official announcement, Biden, who served eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president, led most surveys of Democratic voters.
The RealClearPolitics poll aggregate puts him as favorite with 29.3 percent support, followed by independent Senator Bernie Sanders at 23 percent.