Selebi Phikwe — Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Mr Shaw Kgathi says peace and security are the fundamental aspects that maintain stability in the SADC region.
He said due to this, Botswana and Zambia had always had the will to participate in peace keeping and peace maintenance missions in and outside the region.
Minister Kgathi was welcoming his counterpart from Zambia, Mr Davies Chama and his delegation at the Botswana-Zambia Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security ministerial meeting in Selebi Phikwe recently.
He said Zambia and Botswana had played a significant role in maintaining peace in the region, adding that the defence and security sectors of the two countries had placed themselves at strategic positions to provide the necessary leadership and direction in the two countries' bilateral relations and the rest of the SADC region.
The minister said the security sector collaboration of the two countries gave them the opportunity to address emerging issues and take stock of the failures and successes. "Interaction among our various security agencies is very smooth.
Through our cooperation we have significantly reduced cross-border crime, anti-human trafficking, money laundering, smuggling of contraband and poaching," he said.
Minister Kgathi also noted that both countries were fully aware of the devastating effects of wars and instability in other regions and that was why they had every reason not to lower their guard and become complacent at any point.
"It has become our culture to remain vigilant and to adopt workable strategies to cope with any emerging challenges," he said.
For his part, Mr Chama said the level of co-operation that the defence and security institution from both countries share was tight.
He said both countries continued to face ever growing threats from transnational organised crime such as poaching, terrorism and irregular migration, adding that such threats required continued co-operation between the two countries to halt them if peace and stability was to be maintained.
"It is for this reason that I wish to implore members of the commission to take advantage of the session to device strategies that will be beneficial to the two countries," he said.
Mr Chama said his government remained committed to participating in regional strategies aimed at combating common threats and eradicating crime.
He also conveyed his condolences to the government and people of Botswana on the passing of Sir Ketumile Masire.
Source : BOPA