Somali Magazine – Germany has opened a new chapter with Tanzania after President Frank-Walter Steinmeier apologized to Tanzania for the massive killing of Tanzanians by the colonials more than a century ago. Following the colonial atrocities of Germans in Tanzania, peace has never prevailed between them and their colony (Tanzania).
As a result, the German Head of State promised to seek resolution over unsolved questions that have undermined Tanzania’s peace. He stated this on Wednesday as he met descendants of an executed leader of a revolt against German rule.
President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also noted that the German museums and anthropological sites have bones and skulls from East Africa that were largely collected and forgotten after the end of the colonial era and the two world wars.
Over 300,000 are believed to have died during the Maji Maji rebellion against the colonial power between 1905 and 1907.
President Steinmeier eulogized Chief Songea Mbano Luwafu, the first Ngoni to fight against the Germans. Due to his paramount position as senior sub-chief, the Germans wanted to use him as a puppet, but he refused and executed him in 1906.
“Along with you, I mourn Chief Songea and the others who were executed,” he said. “I bow to the victims of German colonial rule. And as German president, I would like to apologize for what Germans did to your ancestors here.”
Steinmeier added that through cooperation with the Republic of Tanzania, Chief Songea Mbano’s bones will be collected in the German mesuems and given a descent burial. However, he said that he cannot give an assurance of his words due to the difficulties in locating human remains.
“Unfortunately, I just can’t promise you that we will be successful,” because identifying human remains is difficult even with scientific expertise, he added.
Apart from Tanzania, Germany also announced an agreement with Namibia, which is part of her colony. In 2021, the Germans promised to recognize colonial-era massacres of tens of thousands of people there as genocide and provide funding to help the communities affected. But the accord stopped short of formal reparations.
His three-day visit to Tanzania further seeks to unlock business opportunities, strengthen diplomatic and development relations with Tanzania, and promote trade and investment.
The Tanzanian government said the visit was aimed at “strengthening historic relations that have lasted more than 60 years”.
His trip to Tanzania is concurrent with that to Kenya, where King Charles III and his wife, Queen Camilla, visited, seeking to foster new relationships that were destroyed during the colonial era.