Francistown — Francistown youth based coordinator, Gobonaone Ramoupo says military bilateral games have become a military culture.
Officiating at this year's bilateral games between the 2nd Brigade against 1st Infantry brigade of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) in Francistown on July 20, Ramoupo said the games were meant to foster cordial relations between ZNA and Botswana Defence Force (BDF).
"It is my believe that most of you have become testament to the soothing power of sports as it provides a place to learn, grow and also gives essence of purpose," he said.
Ramoupo pointed out that since the inception of such interactions, the games had played a major part in becoming an instrument of diplomacy between the two countries.
"These games have the potential to bridge any gap that the two countries might have," he said.
Ramoupo stated that interactions through sports was important as it ensured that relations benefitted not only the two participating countries but also the world at large. He added that the interactions contributed to world peace and development.
"The competition will be a memorable one pitting solidarity and friendship above all as a way of cementing and nurturing the existing relations," he said.
Though Botswana dominated the games, it was no match for Zimbabwe when it came to football. The Zimbabwean National Army was unstoppable as it humiliated Botswana 2-0.
In netball, BDF beat ZNA 39-31 and further walloped them again in basketball 64-46. BDF went on to wallop ZNA 3-0 in volleyball and further 12-0 in chess.
BDF also did well in pool game as it beat Zimbabwe 4-3 and in darts it won 4-2.
The two countries host the annual event in turns.
Meanwhile, Commander of the 2nd Brigade, Brigadier Joseph Enoselo said bilateral games provided the opportunity for the two armies to discuss and share ideas on areas of future cooperation.
Speaking during a dinner held in Francistown, Brigadier Enoselo explained that BDF and Zimbabwe National Army continued to carry out joint operations along common borders in order to enforce authority and the rule of law in both countries.
"In today's world, we face illegal practices such as drug and human trafficking, fuel smuggling and poaching, and this leaves us with no option but to work jointly to counter such," he added.
He explained that BDF and ZNA had jointly succeeded in stabilising security situations along the border, and that the achievement was a result of constant engagements and quick responses to potential security threats.
Brigadier Enoselo said the coordinated patrol that the two armies periodically conducted had proven to bear positive results, especially between borders.
"Lately we have experienced an emergent threat of vehicle and cattle smuggling along our common borders, but due to information sharing, continuous engagements and 24-hour communication link, such threats were accordingly dealt with," he explained.
He said the relation needed to be nurtured and urged the two armies to leverage the bilateral relationship of the two countries by extending it beyond sports and culture to partnerships in areas such as legal trade and information sharing for personal growth.
Source : BOPA