Op-Ed

An Apology is Not Enough: Germany, Genocide and the Limits of Reparations for Namibia

After more than 100 years, Germany will finally acknowledge its genocide in Namibia. An apology is not enough, writes Perivi John Katjavivi.

In his book, “Traumas Lost and Found”, Mark Wolynn outlines how a well-documented feature of trauma is our inability to articulate what happens to us. I’ve long recognized my country, Namibia, as a place where the past is seldom engaged. Where the stark inequalities and the still obvious racial divide is ignored in favour of a few glimpses of multiculturalism. Instead, fragments of memory, pain and loss are buried deep in our unconscious waiting to reemerge someday.

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