Botswana: Namibia, Botswana Disband Defence and Security Commission

17 September 2021

NAMIBIA and Botswana disbanded the two countries' Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security (JPCDS) on Thursday, during its 29th session at Swakopmund.

The commission will be elevated to a bi-national commission (BNC) on defence and security, chaired by the heads of state of Namibia and Botswana, according to a joint statement issued by the two countries.

The inaugural meeting of the bi-national commission will be hosted by Botswana next year.

Although the JPCDS did not deliberate on border tensions in the Zambezi region, it took notice of the incident in which three Namibians and their Zambian cousin were killed, allegedly by Botswana Defence Force soldiers, along the Chobe River in November 2020.

"The commission noted with regret and sadness the unfortunate incident that resulted in the death of the Nchindo brothers and their Zambian cousin along the Chobe River," it stated.

It added that a joint investigation has been concluded and that Botswana's Directorate of Public Prosecutions has initiated legal proceedings in the matter.

Botswana's minister of defence, justice and security, Thomas Mmusi, added that his country was prepared to repatriate the remains of Namibians killed in the past along Botswana's border with Namibia.

"Yes, I believe that is something that can be done. We need to look at it and do investigations, [remains should] be identified and be released to the relevant families. We will never refuse that," said Mmusi.

Namibia's defence minister, Frans Kapofi, requested relatives of people who died along the borders and whose remains are in Botswana to submit their names for repatriation purposes.

Kapofi added that naval patrol boats sent to Impalila Island recently would remain a permanent feature in the area.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.