Namibia’s President Hage Geingob. File Photo: Kopano Tlape/GCIS
Namibia’s President Hage Geingob. File Photo: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

Opposition wants Namibia-Botswana border treaty cancelled

By Molaole Montsho Time of article published Jun 2, 2021

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Rustenburg – Namibia's opposition party the Popular Democratic Movement wants the Botswana-Namibia ratified 2018 boundary treaty recalled and revoked pending consultations with the public, Namibia media reported on Wednesday.

The party's member of parliament Geoffrey Mwilima told a media conference in Katima Mulilo that there had been no public consultation before the treaty was signed, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) reported on Tuesday.

According to the public broadcaster, the party made the call after the communities living along the Namibia-Botswana border in the Zambezi Region complained of harassment by the Botswana Defence Force within Namibia.

He said what used to be residents' grazing lands and tourist attraction sites were now in Botswana following the signing of the border treaty in 2018.

The treaty was signed by President Hage Geingob and former Botswana president Ian Khama.

Mwilima said the Namibian government had failed to provide him with public participation documents, leaving him to conclude that there was no public participation for residents to give input.

Daily newspaper The Namibian reported that the chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, Pansy Tlakula, warned Geingob against signing the border treaty in 2016.

According to the daily, Tlakula warned Geingob to refrain from taking measures that would have consequences.

Pressure groups and traditional authorities in the Zambezi region have urged the government to withdraw from the 2018 boundary treaty, which they claim was fraudulent and in bad faith.

On May 17, The Namibian reported that the Mafwe and Mayeyi traditional authorities in the Zambezi region were refusing to recognise the legality of the border treaty of 2018 between Namibia and Botswana, stating that their communities were living in fear as Botswana increased military activity along the Chobe River.

The traditional leaders demanded that the border treaty agreement be cancelled because it does not reflect the historical narrative of the ancient borders between Namibia and Botswana.

The newspaper reported that Botswana soldiers pointed loaded rifles at unarmed Namibians and international visitors at Ngoma along the shared part of the Chobe River on the Namibian side.

African News Agency (ANA)

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