Ethnic groups sue Germany over Namibian holocaust

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Descendants of Namibia’s Herero and Nama people Friday sued Germany over what they say was the genocide of more than 100,000 of the southern African country’s people under German colonial rule in the early 1900s.

The 22-page complaint, which was published online, was filed with the US District Court in Manhattan.

The Herero and Nama accuse Germany of excluding their representatives from its talks with the Namibian government and of not paying damages to the victims’ families.

Germany last year recognized the killings as a genocide and is discussing the modalities of a formal apology with the Namibian government.

Analysts say Germany may increase its development aid to Namibia, but Berlin has ruled out direct compensation to victims’ descendants.

The genocide took place from 1904 to 1908, when the Herero and Nama rebelled against colonial rule.

To save ammunition, German soldiers took tens of thousands of men, women and children to the desert to die, while others died in concentration camps.

The Herero and Nama accuse the Germans of having taken away more than a quarter of their land, as well as their cattle, and of having used them as labourers in slave-like conditions.

About 300,000 Herero and Nama currently live in Namibia.