Military convoy spotted – again

The defence ministry says the military vehicles are moving from one base to another.

27 December 2017 | Government

The Namibian public was again alarmed to see a large contingent of about 50 military trucks loaded with Land Rovers spotted along the B1 near the Brakwater weighbridge last Thursday.

The military trucks were seen moving from the north towards Windhoek, with rumours mulling that they must have been moving from Katima Mulilo.

Other rumours were of a possible collusion by Namibia in Zimbabwe's military take over following sightings of two huge military convoys seen to have been driving along the Western Bypass northwards on 21 November.

About two weeks before 21 November a long line of military trucks with Land Rovers mounted on top were also seen driving along Sam Nujoma Avenue in the direction of the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA).

Then, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence, Major Peter Shilumbu, said the trucks seen on Sam Nujoma Avenue were vehicles belonging to the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) being transported to Botswana after having been in transit at Botswana's dry port in Walvis Bay.

Shilumbu also then said the other convoys were a new consignment of military vehicles of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) being deployed and dispatched from Windhoek to their respective units.

Of the military vehicles seen last week Shilumbu said these were NDF trucks moving from one base to another.

“It has been done before,” Shilumbu said, adding in an annoyed tone: “People like to spread rumours.”

“The public must know that the military is not stationed at one place. People should not link Namibia to any other country. We are members of SADC [Southern African Development Community] and if something happens anywhere in the region, SADC will take a decision regarding deployments,” Shilumbu said.

He said he is “not aware of any development where the Namibian army is linked”.

“People should observe whether these vehicles have NDF registration numbers or not,” Shilumbu added.

Journalist Yochanaan Coetzee had gone to take pictures of two of the military trucks that experienced a breakdown along the B1 and reported that the trucks had no registration numbers or any other identification as NDF trucks.

He said the two drivers at the trucks were dressed in dark green overalls.

Coetzee said the drivers were dressed in dark green overalls but had a “strict demeanour” about them, which gave him the impression that they must be soldiers.

The drivers, however, did confirm that they were from “up north”.

“I want to assure the Namibian people that the security situation in the country is stable. People link things to wrong events. There is no need to panic.

If there is any development the Ministry of Defence will announce it to the Namibian public,” said Shilumbu.

CATHERINE SASMAN

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