Wed, 23 Nov 2016 11:29:32 +0000
THE Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) on defence and security between Zambia and Botswana has declared war on criminals perpetuating illegalities along the common border.
And Defence Minister Davies Chama has called on the defence and security wings of both countries to work together and implement resolutions made at the 20th JPC on defence and security.
The two countries have reaffirmed the importance of their joint commission in resolving security issues between them and along the common border.
Speaking during the official closing of the Botswana-Zambia JPC in Livingstone on Thursday, Botswana’s Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs minister Edwin Batshu said the war on cross-border crime must be won, and not criminals winning the war.
“It is now 20 years since the two countries signed the protocol that established the JPC. This was aimed at strengthening the mission on defence and security. We have identified challenges that the two countries are facing along our common border,” he said.
“As a commission, we commit and rededicate ourselves to the promotion of genuine cooperation for the good of our people. We have identified challenges of transnational crimes such as motor vehicle theft, drug and human trafficking, illegal migration, smuggling of foods, poaching and other forms of crime that have continued to pose security problems for the two countries.
“As JPC, we have declared war against criminals that perpetuate these illegalities along our common border.
We should not allow ourselves to be talking shop but implement and review our resolutions,” said Mr. Batshu.
He said that the war which has been declared along the common border must be won by the defence and security personnel and not criminals.
And Mr Chama called on the defence and security wings in Botswana and Zambia to work together and implement the resolutions.
Mr. Chama said the commission has contributed to the existing strong relations between the two countries and the defence and security services.
He said the two countries were facing similar problems hence the need to work together in solving security issues. There was need to defeat the menace of transitional threats.
The JPC has also urged the defence and security wings that once the Kazungula bridge now under construction was completed, they should take advantage of the
facility to monitor perpetrators of cross-border crime.
On regional security, the commission noted that the situation in the SADC region had remained stable, but expressed concern over political and security developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique.
In this regard, the commission expressed optimism that the on-going efforts by the governments and opposition political parties in the two countries would resolve those challenges.
The Zambian delegation at the talks included Mr. Chama and Home Affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo and other senior Government official while the Botswana delegation was led by Defence, Justice and Security minister Shaw Kgathi and Mr Batshu.