Botswana border tensions on the agenda

12 October 2021 | International

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK

The tensions between the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) and people of the Zambezi Region will be discussed at a meeting to be chaired by the heads of state of Namibia and Botswana.

Minister of international relations Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah gave feedback in the National Assembly on her meeting with her Botswana counterpart during a fact-finding mission to the troubled border area.

According to her, this meeting was held so that both ministers could familiarise themselves with the situation and discuss how to deal with the simmering tension in the area.

Nandi-Ndaitwah also told parliament that the joint investigation into the killing of three Namibians and one Zambian national by BDF soldiers in Botswana has been concluded.

The four were suspected of being poachers but their families claimed that they were just fishermen.

The shooting sparked several demonstrations in Namibia.

“During the joint visit my counterpart of Botswana told me that the Botswana directorate of public prosecution has initiated legal proceedings into the matter,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.

Addressing concerns

She added that during a subsequent meeting held in September between Namibia and Botswana’s security sectors, both countries took steps to strengthen cooperation.

She added that the two countries agreed to fast-track the implementation of measures to address the plight of people at Impalila and Kasikili islands.

“The ministry of international relations’ mandate is to ensure peaceful coexistence along the common riverine borders.

The concern of our people being denied access to natural resources was high on the agenda of our meeting and both sides agreed that indeed communities on both sides of the border should have access to natural resources without intimidation and harassment,” she said.

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