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Botswana Namibia launch military cooperation

13 Jun 2024

Botswana and Namibia Defence Forces have launched the joint Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) plan which intends to harmonise activities along the shared border.

The launch is subsequent to the decision of the Botswana- Namibia Bi-National Commission in 2022 where the two Defence Forces agreed to implement CIMIC Plan in Chobe region.

Speaking at the joint launch in Kasane on Tuesday, the minister of Defence and Security Mr Kagiso Mmusi said the initiative marked a pivotal step in highlighting the importance of collaboration in fostering peace, security, and sustainable development for both communities.

He said the plan underscored the shared commitment to the theme “Working together to ensure peaceful coexistence, security, and human development.”

Mr Mmusi said a series of campaigns targeting 21 villages along the common border on the Botswana side and 19 villages on the Namibian side would follow after this launch.

“These activities are designed to address the multifaceted challenges faced by our border communities, ensuring that our Defence Forces are not only guardians of our nations but also play a vital contributor to human development and peaceful coexistence.”

The minister highlighted that primary components of the CIMIC activities would be two vital sensitisation campaigns on illegal border crossing, illegal fishing, poaching and illegal smuggling of arms and munitions in July 2024 followed by another campaign on human wildlife conflict in August.

In addition, he said the campaign would educate citizens on the importance of adhering to the gazetted border entry points, the risks involved in illegal crossings, and the benefits of maintaining orderly and secure borders.

Mr Mmusi said the campaigns would inform communities about the importance of conserving the flora and fauna and the economic and ecological benefits of wildlife conservation.

“By fostering a sense of stewardship, we can ensure that our natural heritage is preserved for future generations” he added.

He said the defence forces would conduct coordinated patrols along the Botswana-Namibia border to ensure safety of citizens and foster greater cooperation and trust between the military forces.

For his part, Namibia Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs, Mr Frans Kapofi said the launch was an effort of the two governments to bolster their working relations and living together in peace and harmony.

“Our countries continue to face numerous challenges along our shared border that range from illegal fishing, illegal border crossing house breaking at lodges along Chobe and Zambezi Rivers and poaching which is paramount among these criminal activities.”

Mr Kapofi noted that in order to arrest this situation communities living along the border ought to be stakeholders in this campaign.

Furthermore he stated that other stakeholders such as traditional and community leaders, government institutions were also critical so that the plan would become a beacon of hope for a safer and more secure future. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Portia Ikgopoleng

Location : Kasane

Event : Launch

Date : 13 Jun 2024