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Namibia takes down statue of German colonial officer

International
statue of German colonial officer

The statue of a controversial German colonial officer in Namibia's capital Windhoek has been taken down after a successful petition.

It was erected in 1965 in front of what is now the city's municipal building to honour Curt von François who was celebrated as the city's founder.

Von François was a senior officer in the then German colony of South West Africa (modern day Namibia) between 1889 to 1894.

He was the commanding officer in 1892 during the massacre of Hoornkrans - an operation against a rising rebellion by the Nama people where at least 80 people mostly women and children were killed.

On Wednesday, local artists performed rituals to reclaim the land where the statue stood before workers took it down from its pedestal.

Activist Hildegard Titus, who led the petition to take down the statue, told news site Namibian that she was "very excited".

She said Von François had "wrongly been called the founder of Windhoek" and that he was a symbol of "colonial oppression".

A crowd that had gathered to witness the event applauded as the statue was removed.

The city of Windhoek spokesperson Harold Akwenye said the statue will be kept in the museum but will be "re-erected" once a new spot has been agreed on.

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