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A joint civil-military cooperation plan to sensitise communities residing along the Namibia and Botswana borders with legal movements has been signed between the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) and the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) at Katima Mulilo.

The launch of the awareness activities plan will be held on the 11th and 13th of next month in Kasane, Botswana, and Katima Mulilo, respectively, under the theme. "Working Together to Ensure Peaceful Co-existence, Security, and Human Development."

The Botswana-Namibia Bi-National Commission held in 2022 in Gaborone directed the two defence forces to develop a detailed civil-military cooperation plan.

Communities residing along the border, such as Impalila Island to Muhembo in Namibia and Kazungula to Shakawe in Botswana, will be sensitised.

"The common security challenges in these sectors include the poaching of iconic species such as rhinos and elephants by international poachers for their horns and tusks. Additionally, there are instances of subsistence poaching, livestock rustling, illegal fishing, illegal wildlife trade, and other illicit activities," said Major General Petrus Nathinge, the Deputy Executive Director in the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs. 

The campaigns from both sides will include locals, traditional authorities, ministries, and security agencies, targeting 19 villages in Namibia and 21 in Botswana.

Major General Simon Barwabatsile from the Botswana Defence Force said that the plan is in the interest of the two countries' communities'.

"It is a statement that is a product of engagement throughout all spheres in terms of from our leadership down to ourselves, and it is a statement we are committed to, and it is a plan that we believe will reinforce and increase our ability to provide what we need to provide to our public, our two communities, especially those living along the common border."

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Juliet Sibeso