Peace talks on Botswana shoot- to- kill tactics needed urgently



IT is high time that the government of the Republic of Namibia takes issues affecting the Caprivians seriously.

Silence is not the right way to solve conflicts among the nation states because dialogue, peace, stability, love and harmony are the cornerstones of our democracy.

We have noted that the killings of Namibian nationals living near the borders of Botswana has escalated due to reports that those (deceased) have been crossing over the Chobe river to poach for wild animals, and some have been found at the banks of the Chobe and Linyanti rivers as grass and reed harvesters.

It is still not clear whether these poor Namibians are being killed for poaching or illegal crossing into Botswana.

Neither of our leaders (presidents) so far has shown any signs of initiating talks, probing this issue on the killings of our people by the Botswana Defence Force.

Police investigations have been instituted but no solution or feedback to the people of this region, and the country at large.

This issue needs our two Head of States, His Excellency President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, Botswana President to sit down and talk to avoid animosity between people from the two countries and find a lasting solution.

In this latest incidence, Botswana has indicated clearly that the recent killing of the two Namibians was done because they opened fire to the Botswana soldiers before they retaliated by returning fire.

In addition, Botswana has defended its killing of two Namibian villagers, Mr.Richard Munguni Siyauya (36) and Mr. Brian Nyambe Nyambe (31) arguing that they did so in self-defence.

In its statement send to Caprivi Vision, Botswana’s Public Relations, Research and Information Department, claims that the incident was started by the Namibians after they allegedly fired shots at the BDF patrol team, who then returned fire in the process killing the two men.

When we look back to the previous leaders, the former Namibian president Dr. Sam Nujoma he did not initiate talks on the same matter with his counterpart former Botswana president Quett Ketumile Joni Masire when he took office in 1990. But he only managed to meet with the former president Festus Gontebanye Mogae who served Botswana from April1, 1998 to 1 April 2008 when he retired.

We have it on record that in 2003, former presidents Nujoma and Mogae only met at Ngoma border post during an inauguration of the brand new border post and a police station with a court, forgetting that the issue was still burning at hand.

During Nujoma’s legacy two men were killed in the same way, Mr. Banister Mulife Simasiku aged 21, died after he was allegedly killed by BDF soldiers in 2004 together with Mr.Godfrey Mulongwe Kopani (44).

Safety and Security Minister Nangolo Mbumba should be given credit for condemning shoot-to-kill tactics of the BDF members.

Mr. Mbumba who just told this paper recently that his Botswana counterpart should advice their BDF soldiers to refrain from killing Namibians, but to rather arrest them when found committing criminal activities.

In view of this, we still have a lot to ask on the silence of our political leaders.

For instance, when we figure out the time-line on the geographical conflict of Kasikili Island that ended-up in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Netherlands, with the official judgement delivered December 13,1999 which ruled in favour of Botswana by the Court to determine, on the basis of the Anglo-German Treaty of 1 July 1890 [an agreement between Great Britain and Germany respecting the spheres of influence of the two countries in Africa] and the rules and principles of international law, the boundary between Namibia and Botswana around Kasikili/Sedudu Island and the legal status of the island.

This should not bring anger to our respected authorities, as they were no bloodshed unlike other countries in this world.

Namibia and Botswana should urgently institute a peace talk commission that will to stop barbaric, and shooting spree of poor villagers who ark-out a living on God given resources, and to respect the right to life of a human being.






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