15 April 2013

Namibia: Nation Reassured On Defence Budget

Windhoek — The Minister of Defence Nahas Angula says despite a reduction in his ministry's original allocation request, he welcomes the budget and assured the nation the allocated resources will be used for their intended purposes.

Angula said this during his motivation of the N$3.9 billion budget of the defence ministry last week in parliament. He said the budget is an attempt to reduce unemployment and poverty, and to take care of the welfare of Namibians.

"It helps to create a peaceful environment through social safety nets, which are essential for peace and stability in our country," he said.

He said the international security situation continues to be volatile with long-standing tensions and conflicts remaining unsettled, whilst new ones are being created the world over. As such, he said, it is necessary for Namibia to remain vigilant and prepared for any eventualities.

"Therefore, Namibia needs a lean, but professional and combat tested defence force to guarantee peace and stability, without which the people will not be able to focus on the socio-economic development efforts of our country," said Angula.

He told fellow parliamentarians that the Namibia Defence Force (NDF) has a constitutional mandate and obligation to defend the people, the territory and national interests of Namibia to the best of its ability.

"We have the responsibility to make sure that the NDF has the best capability to assist civil communities and civil powers in case of emergencies and contribute to peace building and maintenance in the world," urged Angula.

Angula said the defence ministry has scored some notable achievements during the past financial year, including the approval of a HIV/AIDS policy by parliament, which has now become a working document; the acquisition of air and naval assets, as well as participation in various bilateral and multilateral meetings.

The ministry allocated N$245 million to training and development, N$2.5 billion for land operations support, N$272 million to airspace protection and N$116 million to military health support.

It also apportioned N$266 million to offshore defence, N$77 million to international deployment and N$451 million to supervision and support services.

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