Namibia, Botswana enter joint probe into shooting incident in Botswana
Namibia and Botswana have agreed to a joint-investigation in order to shed light on the Namibian citizens who were allegedly killed along the Chobe River, near Kasane, Botswana by the Botswana Defence Force.
The four Namibian fishermen were allegedly killed on 05 November under the Botswana’s shoot-to-kill policy because they were assumed to be part of a poaching syndicate.
The President, HE Dr. Hage Geingob on 10 November met with the Nchindo family, where at he extended his condolences for the loss of their loved ones. President Geingob, accompanied by the Vice President, the Prime Minister, myself and line ministers informed the family that the Government took the incident in a most serious light and that the relevant agencies were mobilized to shed light on the unfortunate incident.
“The shooting incident by the Botswana Defence Force, in which four Namibians from the same family lost their lives is deeply regrettable. Prior to my meeting today with the bereaved family of the deceased, I had a telephone conversation with President Mokgweetsi Masisi to discuss the incident. I assured the bereaved family that this unfortunate incident is receiving the utmost attention it deserves from the relevant authorities in our two countries. A joint investigation will be carried out,” Geingob said.
Geingob gave assurance that while Namibia is working on deepening their bilateral relations with Botswana, the safety of Namibians and the territorial integrity of Namibia will not be compromised.
Geingob’s engagements were preceded by my summoning of Dr Batlang Comma Serema, High Commissioner of the Republic of Botswana to Namibia to the ministry of international relations in order to express the Namibian government’s regret and grave concern over the tragic killings.
“While I informed that the Government of the Republic of Namibia does not condone poaching, I strongly deplored the extrajudicial killings by the Botswana Defence Forces in their anti-poaching drive. Bearing in mind that the two Governments signed the Boundary Treaty in 2018, I sought clarity from the High Commissioner on whether Botswana still maintained the “shoot to kill” as a government policy, as such a policy has potential to cause disharmony between the two neighbouring countries,” Geingob said.
The President also called on the Botswana government to speed up the joint investigation, to expeditiously furnish the post-mortem report, as well as to assist with the repatriation of the remains to Namibia.
The two countries further said that consultations at the highest levels will continue in order to find a lasting solution that would prevent the recurrences of such incidents between neighbouring countries.
President Dr. Hage Geingob and high ranking government officials meet with family of the victims at State House to extends condolences and assures the nation that the matter is receiving the utmost attention of government.