Berlin will on Wednesday hand back human remains seized from Namibia a century ago after the slaughter of indigenous people under German colonial rule, but descendants are still waiting for an apology.
A Namibian government delegation will receive the remains, including 19 skulls, a scalp and bones, during a solemn church service in Berlin.
“We want to help heal the wounds from the atrocities committed by Germans at the time,” said Michelle Muentefering, a minister of state for international cultural policies in the German foreign ministry.
But representatives of descendants of the tens of thousands of Herero and Nama people massacred between 1904 and 1908 after rebelling against their colonial overlords have criticised the ceremony as insufficient.
Esther Utjiua Muinjangue, chairwoman of the Ovaherero Genocide Foundation, said the handover would have been “the perfect opportunity” for Germany to officially apologise for what is often called the first genocide of the 20th century.