More than 100 years after the crimes were committed, Germany formally confessed on Friday to having committed genocide as the colonial power in what is now Namibia.

Iran PressEurope: After years of negotiations, the German government recognized the atrocities committed against the Herero and Nama ethnic groups as genocide and said reparations would be paid.

"As a gesture of recognition of the immeasurable suffering inflicted on the victims, we want to support Namibia and the descendants of the victims with a substantial program of 1.1 billion euros (about $1.3 billion) for reconstruction and development," said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. Germany also said it would officially seek forgiveness for the crimes.

Earlier, delegations from both countries reached an agreement on a joint political declaration after nearly six years of negotiations. The German Empire was the colonial power in what is now Namibia from 1884 until 1915, and it brutally quashed repeated rebellions during that time.

Historians believe that German forces in what was then known as German Southwest Africa killed about 65,000 of the 80,000-strong Herero population, and at least half of the 20,000 Nama in the region.

The official request for forgiveness was reportedly to be made by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at a ceremony in the Namibian parliament.

The 1.1 billion euros are to be paid over a period of 30 years, primarily to support projects in the areas where most ethnic Herero and Nama people have settled. The projects will focus on land reform, agriculture, rural infrastructure, water supply, and vocational training.