"I am glad and grateful that it has been possible to reach an understanding with Namibia on the darkest chapter of our common history," the German Foreign Affairs Minister Heiko Maas said.
"In light of Germany's historical and moral responsibility, we will apologize to Namibia and the descendants of the victims," he added.
After five years of negotiations, Namibia and Germany reached an intergovernmental agreement that includes the creation of a 1.1 billion euro development program as a gesture of recognition for the "incalculable pain" caused by the imperial army.
#Deutschland beging den ersten Völkermord des 20. Jahrhunderts an d Herero und Nama, assistierte beim Völkermord an den Armeniern durch das Osmanische Reich, beging dann den 1. industrialisierten Völkermord der Welt an den Jüdinnen und Juden Europas sowie an den Roma und Sinti 1/ https://t.co/MQGuXHnjrIpic.twitter.com/5aypAC4mov
The representatives of the Herero and Nama peoples, however, demanded individual compensation. During the negotiations of the intergovernmental agreement, the German government proposed to design an investment program on the lands traditionally inhabited by these ethnic groups.
Berlin did not want the term "reparations for war crimes" to be used, as this could open the door to a chain of individual claims.
Between 1904 and 1908, Emperor Wilhelm II's troops murdered 65,000 out of 80,000 Herero and 10,000 out of 20,000 Nama, creating the largest genocide in the history of German colonialism.
Anticipating other 20th century ethnic cleansings, the German extermination plan included the death of the people by firing squad, the abandonment of the prisoners in the desert, or the internment in concentration camps.