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Khaua-Mbandjeru rebellion

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The Khaua-Mbandjeru rebellion was an uprising of Africans in German South West Africa which took place in 1896 The rebellion preceded the Herero and Namaqua Genocide, which began around 1904[1]

In 1894, Theodor Leutwein was appointed the commissioner of German South West Africa One of his tasks was to establish German authority throughout the colony This task interfered with the tribal organization of local peoples Shortly before this, a German trader was found murdered in the territory of Khauas Nama around Naosanabis today's Leonardville When Curt von François, the predecessor of Leutwein, demanded the murderer be handed over to the German authorities, the Khaua chief, Andreas Lambert, refused Additionally, the Khaua attacked a tribal group in Bechuanaland, which was under German protection Leutwein decided to make an example of the Khaua[2]

In February 1894, Leutwein led one hundred troops to the Khaua lands, and then started negotiations In March, captured Andries Lambert accepted the conditions and recognized German authority, as well as agreeing to return cattle to Bechuanaland and to surrender arms Subsequently, Lambert was released, but, instead of surrendering the arms, tried to escape with the whole tribe[2]

Lambert was arrested and subsequently executed This is thought to be the first execution of a Namibian traditional leader by the German colonial forces[3] Historical records indicate that Leutwein intended to set an example for much stronger tribes not to stand in his way[4] In the aftermath of this incident, Leutwein met with the remaining members if the tribe to establish the terms of a "protection" treaty With Lambert's brother acting as regent the tribe agreed to Leutwein's terms The treaty forbade them from waging war or stealing cattle Their weapons were to be confiscated and held until the tribe displayed "quiet behaviour" Their horses were purchased by the Germans with the proceeds to be presented Lambert's successor The stolen cattle were returned to the Bechuana who would be allowed to stay in the areas which they had previously leased from the Khaua[2]

With no culture of raising cattle and deprived of the possibility of hunting and raiding for them, the Khaua no longer had a means of immediate economic survival The sudden and drastic changes implemented by Leutwein led to the tribe's eventual demise as a cohesive social unit Its members "scattered into prisoner-of-war and forced-labour camps and lost their entire territory"[2]

Native uprisings and their results in the Leutwein era, 1896–1903

Year Indigenous Group Result
1896 Mbandjeru and Khaua Mbandjeru Dispersed; leaders shot dead; 12,000 cattle taken away Khaua disarmed and interned in forced labour camps; their territory taken
1897 Afrikaners Tribe Captured; leaders shot
1897–98 Zwartboois Tribe Disarmed and interned in Windhoek
1900 Bastaards from Grootfontein Tribe Disarmed, dissolved and partly interned in Windhoek
1903 Bondelswarts Tribe Disarmed, the run-away leaders banned


Various other uprisings of indigenous peoples took place well before the Herero and Nama rebellions of 1903–08 Examples include the Damara uprising of 1888, Topnaar uprising of 1891, Ovambanderu uprising of 1896, the Grootfontein Baster uprising of 1901, and the Kavango uprising of 1903[6]

See also

  • Herero Wars
  • Research Materials: Max Planck Society Archive


  1. ^ Bridgman, Jon M 1981 The Revolt of the Hereros, p74 California University Press mw-parser-output citecitationmw-parser-output citation qmw-parser-output id-lock-free a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-free amw-parser-output id-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output id-lock-registration a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-registration amw-parser-output id-lock-subscription a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-subscription amw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registrationmw-parser-output cs1-subscription span,mw-parser-output cs1-registration spanmw-parser-output cs1-ws-icon amw-parser-output codecs1-codemw-parser-output cs1-hidden-errormw-parser-output cs1-visible-errormw-parser-output cs1-maintmw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registration,mw-parser-output cs1-formatmw-parser-output cs1-kern-left,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-leftmw-parser-output cs1-kern-right,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-rightmw-parser-output citation mw-selflinkISBN 978-0-520-04113-4
  2. ^ a b c d Bley, Helmut 1996 Namibia under German rule, Studies on African History, Vol 5, pp 8-13 Münster: LIT Verlag
  3. ^ Shiremo, Shampapi 14 January 2011 "Captain Andreas Lambert: A brave warrior and a martyr of the Namibian anti-colonial resistance" New Era Archived from the original on 8 December 2012 Retrieved 2 November 2011
  4. ^ Dierks, Klaus "Biographies of Namibian Personalities, L" Retrieved 14 January 2011
  5. ^ Weiser, Martin 2006 "The Herero war – the first genocide of the 20th century" Bachelor's Thesis, Univerzita Karlova v Praze
  6. ^ Dierks, Klaus 2005 Index: Uprisings against the German/South African Colonial Power Chronology of Namibian History Retrieved 13 February 2012

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