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Pro football a pipe dream

NFA acting secretary general Franco Cosmos. File photo

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Swartbooi launches 'Shafewange'

Swartbooi launches  'Shafewange'

Johanna Swartbooi last week launched a brand new accessory collection 'Shafewange', after she took the jewellery industry by storm last year February when she created '‡Nu/Gôa Accessories', a high-fashion brand.


The art of a post-independence Namibia

IN commemoration of Namibia's 30 years of independence, the Museum of African Art (MAA) and the National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN) put together an exhibition to reflect on the past three decades.


From The Twittersphere

From The Twittersphere

DECEMBER. The countdown to the end of 2020 is real. As if that isn't real enough, some tweeps are already stalking January. For now, though, the ins and outs of life on the cusp...



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      Botswana's Border Aggression is a Regional Security Issue

      BOTSWANA'S extrajudicial execution of alleged trespassers from neighbouring countries will never stop until several multinational solutions are put in place.

      Unless president Hage Geingob and the Namibian government come to terms with their limitations, expect the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) to continue killing and torturing Namibians they claim are poachers with the kind of impunity for which there are no loopholes in international law.

      The BDF has had 'shoot-to-kill' and 'take-no-prisoners' practices for decades – perhaps predating Namibian independence.

      The Namibian's investigations unit, in conjunction with INK, a counterpart in Botswana, reported in early 2016 that the BDF had killed more than 50 Namibian and Zimbabwean citizens in 20 years (https://www.namibian.com.na/148318/archive-read/Deadly-borders--30-Namibians-killed-through).

      The BDF's continued arrogance in persisting with the policy and their unilateral operations should worry southern African countries. Some day, it may trigger wars between the neighbouring countries.

      The reported close-range shots to the heads of three brothers Tommy, Martin and Wamunyima Nchindo, and cousin Sinvula Munyeme, should not only evoke moral outrage. But it's a reminder to politicians that borders, as old and colonial as they are, will not change centuries-old livelihoods or cut family ties.

      Botswana may have won the fight with Namibia for the ownership of the Kasikili-Sedudu islands, but that will never change the fact that indigenous groups of people continue to live their lives, transcending borders.

      At home, Botswana has long been reported to have expelled and even killed nomadic San people to clear land for a mining and tourism economy.

      It is that approach which Geingob and the Namibian government should keep in mind when calling for joint investigations into the extrajudicial killing of the four fishermen.

      Namibian leaders say they have addressed similar incidents before. And apparently to their surprise, nothing has changed.

      Geingob said he'd spoken to former Botswanan president Ian Khama to end the shoot-to-kill policy. Minister of international relations and cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah this week recalled that she agreed with Botswana's foreign minister on 4 May 2015 that the situation will not continue.

      How naive can a leader be? Similarly naive is Geingob questioning why the executed men were fishing at night.

      Mr President, it does not matter what time the BDF spotted the men, their shoot-to-kill policy would have been activated as happened all too often previously.

      Both Namibia and Botswana need to show political will on an issue that regularly claims civilian lives. Even alleged poachers deserve justice.

      However, we should not expect Botswana to budge until the Namibian authorities act decisively.

      The president and his team must ensure that clear rules of engagement are put in place.

      That's not difficult to accomplish.

      After all, five countries have established the Kaza Transfrontier Conservation Area (https://kavangozambezi.org/en/).

      Namibia should immediately initiate through the SADC organ on defence and security joint operations by Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe in that Kaza area and further beyond.

      Even more urgent and crucial is to stop the BDF acting with impunity.

      The deaths of the three Nchindo brothers and their cousin should be the proverbial line in the sand to end BDF extrajudicial actions.

      Nothing short of independent experts from multinational institutions like Interpol and United Nations bodies should be accepted to conduct an investigation into their deaths and allegations that BDF regularly crosses into Namibian territory to intimidate and shoot people.

      There has to be consequences. And the results must be made public.

      At the very least, a public inquiry aimed at finding solutions to the killing and disappearance of fellow Africans from several countries by the Botswana Defence Force should be set in motion urgently.


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