NDF ill-discipline must be dealt with swiftly

Geingob said while funding may not be ideal, the NDF is “required to do more with less and become innovative in [its] endeavours to fulfil [its] roles”.

03 June 2021 | Government

ELLANIE SMIT







WINDHOEK

President Hage Geingob, commander in chief of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF), said ill-discipline, mistreatment of civilians and unpatriotic behaviour by members of the NDF should be dealt with swiftly by the Defence Force High Command.

Geingob’s speech was read on his behalf at the defence force’s 31st anniversary celebrated at Grootfontein under the theme ‘conquering challenges, harnessing readiness’. He said this type of behaviour should not feature among NDF members.

He said the NDF must overcome its internal and external challenges while maintaining vigilance and operational preparedness and fulfilling the role of safeguarding Namibia’s independence.

“We are all aware that the era which witnessed the formation of the NDF is a far cry from the era in which we find ourselves in today. The end of the bipolar world, coupled with the simultaneous rise of developing nations and edging towards unilateralism by some state actors, is negatively impacting the international consensus of world peace.”

Geingob said in this regard, there is an increase in regional conflicts, whose nature, character and tone are different from conventional warfare, thereby posing new challenges to conventional armies.

Profound shifts

For this reason, armed forces around the world are undergoing a series of profound shifts in their core roles, Geingob said.

“I am aware that new roles and responsibilities create opportunities for the NDF to extend its role and enhance the competencies of its personnel. I am also aware that these new roles create new demands which require funding, training and retooling.”

He said his discussions with the NDF command have brought to his attention the fact that the evolving security environment and the emergence of new roles in line with a changing world require the acquisition of appropriate defence capabilities for the modernisation of the NDF.

“Government will continue to support the NDF in carrying out its important and crucial mandate of protecting the nation and securing its territorial integrity.”

He said given the challenging circumstances resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, the NDF received an allocation of N$5.4 billion or 9.1% of the total budget for the 2021/2022 financial year.

“Although this may not be ideal, we are all aware that in these times nothing is ideal. However, we are required to do more with less and become innovative in our endeavours to fulfil our roles.”

Transformation

Geingob added that they should be smart and goal-oriented in the use of limited funds to further transform the NDF into a truly representative institution of the national ethos of inclusivity, unity, freedom and patriotism.

“It is very important that the NDF must be seen as an all-embracing national institution which reflects the values of the Namibian state, and to whom all Namibians - regardless of region, tribe or political affiliation - are beholden as a national sanctuary of safety and security.”

He said the changing role of the army in times of peace does not mean that there are less or no challenges posing risks to the safety and security of the Namibian state and its citizens.

“It only means that such challenges and risks have become more sophisticated and camouflaged in appearance, location and modus operandi.”

The president further commended the NDF for the assistance they have rendered civil authorities in crime prevention activities.

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