Not ‘Brave’ Enough To Face The Truth

Not ‘Brave’ Enough To Face The Truth

ALLOW me a space to open my heart on an issue that refuses to go away no matter how hard the Namibian nation tries to forget.

I call for a truth and reconciliation commission because many of us miss friends and relatives who left to fight for the independence of this country. Discovery of the mass graves in the north open up wounds and the pain we try to ignore starts anew.Are the skeletons in these graves the remains of our friends and relatives? Were they part of the group that were massacred on April 1 1989? So many questions…Was there no list of soldiers fighting for Plan if those in the graves were Plan fighters? Will the grieving ever stop with so many questions remaining unanswered? For the pain will be there as long as we have missing people who are unaccounted for.Only the truth will liberate us and in so doing heal the wounds.We sing “Namibia land of the brave, freedom fight we have won.Glory to their bravery, whose blood waters our freedom…”But are we really brave? For I see that Namibia is not brave enough to face the truth.Namibia is afraid of facing the truth by discussing what happened during the long war of liberation.So atrocities were committed by both sides.Each one has a reason.Today soldiers of both sides are part of the Namibian nation.They live together with the trauma caused by the war.How can they ever heal if they are not allowed to deal with what happened? How can the nation heal if we try to run away from what happened? Of course we can try but we will never be able to outrun the truth.The truth will always catch up with us and call on us to be revealed as the discovery of mass graves is doing.Politicising the issue is not the answer.We are first people before we become aware of party-political affiliations.Are we doing justice to those in these mass graves if we want to remain silent forever? We have Bishop Dumeni and Bishop Kameeta, two religious leaders with experience who are capable of handling a delicate and sensitive exercise like a truth commission.I call for this so that we can deal with the past and embrace the future.That will bring about real reconciliation.How can genuine reconciliation take place while we are hiding the truth and cannot look each other in the eye and be able to say ‘cruel things have been done to you, please forgive me’ or ‘you killed my relative, my son, but I forgive you’? I hope our leaders will be brave enough to face the truth so that the nation can be healed.Remember, there is no healing without pain.The wounds of the past must be scratched open so that genuine healing and reconciliation can take place.Otherwise I foresee no healthy future for Namibia.Thank you for revealing my pain and hope for the Namibian nation in your esteemed newspaper.May God who carried us through the gruesome years of colonialism and apartheid grant us the bravery to face our own demons, and overcome them for the sake of a healthy Namibian nation.J B Gaomab PietermaritzburgDiscovery of the mass graves in the north open up wounds and the pain we try to ignore starts anew.Are the skeletons in these graves the remains of our friends and relatives? Were they part of the group that were massacred on April 1 1989? So many questions…Was there no list of soldiers fighting for Plan if those in the graves were Plan fighters? Will the grieving ever stop with so many questions remaining unanswered? For the pain will be there as long as we have missing people who are unaccounted for.Only the truth will liberate us and in so doing heal the wounds.We sing “Namibia land of the brave, freedom fight we have won.Glory to their bravery, whose blood waters our freedom…”But are we really brave? For I see that Namibia is not brave enough to face the truth.Namibia is afraid of facing the truth by discussing what happened during the long war of liberation.So atrocities were committed by both sides.Each one has a reason.Today soldiers of both sides are part of the Namibian nation.They live together with the trauma caused by the war.How can they ever heal if they are not allowed to deal with what happened? How can the nation heal if we try to run away from what happened? Of course we can try but we will never be able to outrun the truth.The truth will always catch up with us and call on us to be revealed as the discovery of mass graves is doing.Politicising the issue is not the answer.We are first people before we become aware of party-political affiliations.Are we doing justice to those in these mass graves if we want to remain silent forever? We have Bishop Dumeni and Bishop Kameeta, two religious leaders with experience who are capable of handling a delicate and sensitive exercise like a truth commission.I call for this so that we can deal with the past and embrace the future.That will bring about real reconciliation.How can genuine reconciliation take place while we are hiding the truth and cannot look each other in the eye and be able to say ‘cruel things have been done to you, please forgive me’ or ‘you killed my relative, my son, but I forgive you’? I hope our leaders will be brave enough to face the truth so that the nation can be healed.Remember, there is no healing without pain.The wounds of the past must be scratched open so that genuine healing and reconciliation can take place.Otherwise I foresee no healthy future for Namibia.Thank you for revealing my pain and hope for the Namibian nation in your esteemed newspaper.May God who carried us through the gruesome years of colonialism and apartheid grant us the bravery to face our own demons, and overcome them for the sake of a healthy Namibian nation.J B Gaomab Pietermaritzburg

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