Tanzania Demands Reparations for German Colonial Atrocities

Tanzania Maji Maji warriors as political prisoners of German colonialism

Germany’s colonial role in Africa has been highlighted again as the Tanzania government placed the European state on notice that it will file an official complaint over the atrocities committed during the early 20th century.

This report comes in the aftermath of a similar effort by representatives of the Herero and Nama peoples of the Republic of Namibia, formerly known as South-West Africa under imperialism. Approximately 80 percent of the population of these two groups died as a result of a German extermination order issued by General Lothar von Trotha during the anti-colonial revolt of 1904-1907.

In the East African state of Tanzania, the government informed the National Assembly on February 9 that it would pursue an apology along with monetary damages for the crimes carried out in the years of 1905-1907 when an uprising occurred in the southern region of the country. Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, who serves as Minister for Defense and National Service, informed the Parliament of its intentions to work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to develop the proper approach to the issues involved.

The Maji Maji War (1905-1907)

Colonial authorities under the direction of Karl Peters, the founder of the German East Africa Company, imposed a draconian system of land theft, forced labor, economic exploitation and unjust taxation. Africans were forced from their traditional societies in order to make way for the European military and administrative apparatus.

Africans were mandated…


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