Germany recognizes Namibia killings as genocide

Germany has officially recognized its killing of tens of thousands of people in colonial Namibia as a genocide and offered an apology.

The victims belonged to the Herero and Nama peoples. German soldiers carried out the massacres between 1904 and 1908 in reprisal for an uprising against colonial rule.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday that in light of its historical and moral responsibility, his country would ask Namibia and the descendants of the victims for forgiveness.

Maas also announced Germany would provide 1.1 billion euros, or about 1.3 billion dollars, for reconstruction and development projects. The funds are expected to support affected communities for over 30 years.

But Maas added the aid would be given as a gesture of recognition for the immeasurable suffering inflicted on the victims, and could not be used as legal basis for future compensation claims.