Botswana, Namibia diplomatic row feared as BDF kills Namibian poachers





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    Default Botswana, Namibia diplomatic row feared as BDF kills Namibian poachers

    Botswana, Namibia diplomatic row feared as BDF kills Namibian poachers

    by Khonani Ontebetse
    24-05-2015

    A diplomatic row may be looming between Gaborone and Windhoek following an incident in which the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) anti poaching team gunned down three alleged poachers believed to be Namibian nationals.

    Reports indicate that the bodies of the three alleged poachers are lying at the Letsholathebe Hospital in Maun.

    In 2012 following the shooting of its two citizens also believed to be poachers, Namibia warmed Botswana that it does not condone poaching, but called for restraint when using force.

    A statement from BDF issued on Friday this week states that its patrol team deployed in the Kwando area in northern Botswana shot and killed three poachers who were in possession of elephant tusks on 15 May.

    BDF says that it was exercising its mission of defending Botswana’s territorial integrity and national interests.

    “BDF commended Namibian rangers for information, which led to the successful interception of the poachers. The matter had since been handed over to Botswana Police Service for conclusion,” reads the statement.

    In a previous interview with Sunday Standard at the end of Africa Elephant Summit that was held in Gaborone, Environment Wildlife and Tourism Minister, Tshekedi Khama said the government had since adopted a “shoot-to-kill” policy against poachers as a radical measure to curb the mass slaughter of elephants in the country.

    He said the shoot to kill policy had proved an effective deterrent as it sent a clear message to poachers that they would be shot dead on the spot when caught poaching. “These poachers break many laws when they enter our country. Firstly they come armed with military weapons and secondly they enter the country at non gazetted points. Thirdly they engage in poaching which is illegal,’ said Khama. Asked if the move would not create diplomatic tensions in the event that foreign poachers die during exchange of fire with anti poaching agents, Khama said neighbouring countries are aware of the “shoot to kill” stance that has been adopted by Botswana. “These people do not only shoot elephants but also other species. If they decide not to surrender and try to fight their way out, we will shoot them,” he said.

    The Environment Wildlife and Tourism Minister explained that had Botswana not adopted the shoot to kill policy, the country would lose a number of elephants to poachers. On suggestions that poachers have as much rights to be tried in courts like other offenders instead of being executed without trial, Khama insisted that it is unfortunate that the shoot to kill policy has proved to be an effective deterrent. “Unfortunately it is what is working at the moment,” he said.

    Khama said recorded cases of Batswana being involved in poaching are very few adding that they were responding positively to the education on the disadvantages of poaching.

    “It is not the route that we would like to take but we have no choice because we believe that this is an effective deterrent. Poachers who enter Botswana for purposes of poaching should be aware that they will lose their lives,” he warned. Khama said he was aware that human rights defenders and international conservationists are likely to condemn Botswana’s stance that perpetrators of the illicit ivory trade be executed “on the spot” but said that “no, personally as Tshekedi I do not subscribe to the notion that the shoot to kill is not a good practice.”
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    When I say I support them 100%, I mean 100%.
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    That's good, kill them dead! Crossing another country's border illegally with assault rifles is also an act of war. Not that poaching is not enough reason to shoot them dead! Sometime these bleeding heart human rights organisations makes me want to puke.

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    Oh good .wish this lot here would do the same!!!

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    Well done BDF!

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    Quote Originally Posted by James MacKay View Post
    When I say I support them 100%, I mean 100%.
    Totally agree.
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    Firstly, my opinion is that poaching is armed robbery. Dealing with an armed criminal does NOT involve inviting him or te and scones.....

    Secondly, we have had a HUGE upswing in rhino poaching in Namibia. Maybe a "shoot to kill" policy will have the same benifit for us. (We are a nation that jail you for 10 years for stealing a goat, and 4 years for raping a child, so maybe the Namibian powers-that-be should keep silent about "just punishment" issues)

    Thirdly, if Namibia does not adopt a shoot to kill policy, while Bots does, it means that poaching will now be concentrated in Namibia. Rather shoot the elephant in Namibia, and face a slap on the wrist (relatively speaking, and IF you get caught at all) than facing a better trained, more disciplined BDF soldier who takes his job very seriously. In this case, the job is to terminate the poacher....

    IMHO, it leaves Namibia with no other option than adopting the same policy, and even taking it a step further, to allow cross border operations by a joint task force.

    But.......that would lead to the deaths of many Chinese nationals, and we all know the Chinese are here to line the pockets of a very small Namibian Political Elite.....

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    shoot the basterds...

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    Well done, exterminate them!!

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    I support Botswana /BDF policy wholeheartedly.

    Namibia and South Africa should institute it to before it is too late.
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    Cull them until they are extinct!

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    Quote Originally Posted by James MacKay View Post
    When I say I support them 100%, I mean 100%.

    With you on that. This whole lark of first getting to know the poachers personally, chat about their problems and intentions, finding out if they are armed, etc is BS.

    Shoot them.

    They are in another country illegally with illegal firearms in all probability.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2015/07/12 at 04:34 PM.
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    I support this 100%

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    100% support, eradicate the vermin.
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    Khama for SA president!!
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