Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Botswana and Namibia call for calm amid tension over gunfire against citizens

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Botswana and Namibia called on their citizens to remain calm and patient after the Botswana Defense Forces shot dead three Namibians and one Zambian citizen in November.

In the statement of the two heads of state, the two sides underscored the deepening of bilateral relations and expressed their commitment to resolve the matter quickly and amicably.

A joint investigation has been concluded and both governments are considering it, he said.

He added that the two sides anticipate and desire an incident-free future and that joint bilateral efforts will be made to prevent similar incidents from recurring.

The killing of the four, suspected of being poachers by Botswana, has sparked tensions between the two African neighbors and Namibians are taking part in protests.

Some almost turned violent, causing property damage and disruption of cross-border movement.

The families of the deceased told the media that they were fishermen and were crossing to the Botswana side of the Chobe River to fish.

Residents along the border have long depended on the river for their livelihood.

In recent years, Botswana has witnessed an increase in poaching incidents in the area and as a result has deployed army anti-poaching units to patrol the area.

There have been several deadly shootouts between the army and the poachers.

Earlier this year, an army officer was seriously shot.

Xinhua

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