NAMIBIA and Botswana on Thursday dissolved the Joint Standing Committee on Defense and Security (JPCDS) of the two countries, at its 29th session in Swakopmund.
The commission will be elevated to the rank of Binational Commission (BNC) on Defense and Security, chaired by the heads of state of Namibia and Botswana, according to a joint statement released by the two countries.
The inaugural meeting of the Binational Commission will be hosted by Botswana next year.
Although the JPCDS has not deliberated on the border tensions in the Zambezi region, it has taken note of the incident in which three Namibians and their Zambian cousin were killed, allegedly by Botswana Defense Force soldiers. , along the Chobe River in November 2020.
“The commission noted with regret and sadness the unfortunate incident which resulted in the deaths of the Nchindo brothers and their Zambian cousin along the Chobe River,” he said.
He added that a joint investigation has been concluded and that the Botswana Public Prosecutions Directorate has taken legal action in the case.
Botswana Defense, Justice and Security Minister Thomas Mmusi added that his country was ready to repatriate the remains of Namibians killed in the past along the Botswanan border with Namibia.
“Yes, I believe it’s something that can be done. We have to look at it and investigate, [remains should] be identified and given to the families concerned. We will never refuse this, âMmusi said.
Namibian Defense Minister Frans Kapofi has called on relatives of those who have died along the borders and whose remains are in Botswana to submit their names for repatriation.
Kapofi added that the naval patrol boats recently sent to Impalila Island would remain a permanent fixture in the region.