Article Views (non — KATIMA MULILO - Members of the Namibian Police last week Friday retrieved the body of two alleged Namibian poachers from the Chobe River who were shot dead by Botswana Defence Force (BDF) soldiers in the Chobe National Park in Botswana.
According to police, the last body to be retrieved has been identified as that of Nyambe Nyambe, whose age is still unknown.
Nyambe's body was carried further down the river after the shooting.
Another victim in the tragic incident has been identified as Munguni Siyanga Richard (36) whose body has not yet been repatriated to Namibia from the mortuary at Kasane, Botswana.
The two, residents of the villages of Nakabolelwa and Kabulabula bordering the game-rich Chobe National Park some 80 kilometres east of Katima Mulilo, are suspected to have crossed into Botswana by dugout canoe to engage in illegal nighttime hunting.
According to a police report, two elephant tasks and two rifles and a knife were found in their possession.
After the tragic incident many Caprivi residents inundated the Silozi phone-in programme to express their sadness.
Many suggested that the Namibian government should set up army camps and introduce patrols in the villages along the Chobe River to prevent residents from crossing illegally into Botswana. This, residents feel, would reduce unnecessary loss of life and prevent the souring of relations between the two countries.
Caprivi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu, who was not in the region when the incident happened, appealed to Caprivi residents, especially those living in areas along the Chobe River to desist from entering neighbouring countries illegally with the intention to commit crimes.
"I was not in the region when the incident happened. However, I went to the villages yesterday where I saw the families of the victims.
I offered my condolences. It is very shocking to lose family members in this way. I spoke to the deputy Induna Kabuku and asked him to gather his people after the funerals and to urge them to stop crossing into Botswana illegally. No one is allowed to enter another country with a gun to go and hunt or engage in other illegal activities," said Sampofu.
"We will engage our counterparts and request them to arrest, prosecute and jail convicted people, but that is difficult as Botswana is another country with its own laws," said Sampofu.
"Countries such as Botswana and Zambia are our sister countries. People should stop entering other countries without valid papers with bad intentions. Those doing this will create problems for good relations, which are existing," said Sampofu.
Sampofu dismissed suggestions of a military presence along the common border with Botswana.
"Why should we set up army camps as if we have enemies? Setting up army camps won't help because we cannot set up camps for all these villages. People will still cross. People should just be made to understand the dangers associated with illegal crossing and engaging in criminal activities," Sampofu maintained.
Even though poaching is illegal, many residents in villages bordering Botswana have a general feeling that the BDF shoots people at random and values wildlife more than it does human lives.
The Chobe National Park is home to a breathtakingly high concentration of elephants and many other game species such as lion, zebra, giraffe, eland and buffalo.