Gaborone – Botswana is reviewing its anti-poaching strategies to avoid a repeat of last year’s incident in which the country’s security forces shot and killed for Namibians on the border between the two nations.
Botswana’s military said the four Namibians were poachers, but authorities from Namibia maintained that they were fishermen who live in the border region. A bi-national report by the countries on the incident is yet to be made public.
Botswana has denied that its anti-poaching approach has been informed by a shoot-to-kill policy.
This week, Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism Minister Philda Kereng told parliament that the government was reviewing legislation with a view to launching a comprehensive national anti-poaching strategy this year.
Minister Kereng said, “My ministry is working tirelessly to enhance anti-poaching efforts,” adding that all stakeholders would be consulted in coming up with the strategy.
She said the government had already ramped up rhino protection mechanisms, and the result had been an increase in the number of arrests of poachers. Security agents, she said, had also killed several poachers after exchanges of gunfire.
Minister Kereng said authorities were implementing measures such as increased patrols and deployment of drone and satellite-based technologies to improve surveillance and monitoring of protected areas and species.