A US Court has heard the first oral argumentation between representatives of Namibian tribes and representatives of the German government in a case concerning reparations for Germany’s colonial genocide of Namibians between 1904 and 1908.
Around 100,000 Ovaherero and Nama people are estimated to have been killed in those four years as a result of a mass-extermination policy initiated by German colonial troops in South West Africa, currently known as Namibia, when the territory was a German colony.
"All we are asking for is restorative justice for the genocide," said Ngondi Kamatuka, a Namibian-born American of Herero descent, Al Jazeera reports.
The key question under consideration was whether a US federal court has the jurisdiction to hear the case, brought by the indigenous people who seek compensation for their ancestors' suffering.
Although the Namibian representatives argued a case for consequences of the genocide on US commercial property, Germany argues that the US does not have jurisdiction to hear the case and also made submissions claiming that the legal concept genocide did not apply in the case.
The descendants of the victims, a diasporic group from at least four countries, have been fighting for restorative justice for generations.