The Zambia-Botswana joint permanent commission on Defence and Security has expressed serious concerns about the increasing threats of transnational crimes such as human and drug trafficking, smuggling and money laundering.
The commission has in turn urged the two countries‘authorities to intensify their joint operations and exchange information for the benefit of their citizens.
This year’s 15th session commission reviewed progress made in the implementation of the 14th session held from the 13th to 17th September in Zambia last year, most of which have reportedly been met.
Speaking at the official opening of this year’s 15th session in Gaborone, the acting Minister of Defence and Justice, Lesego Motsumi said the two countries ‘s Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security is primarily about the pursuit of lasting peace and security for the two countries.
“By reviewing the work of our defence and security agencies, we are able to gauge the progress we are making and the challenges we are facing,” she said.
Motsumi emphasized that the two countries have upheld democratic principles and continue to do that. “We have even to date continued to espouse democratic principles for the benefit of our people and those of our partners in the SADC community encountering challenges of a political nature. We must stay resolute in this position as it is in keeping with the spirit and letter of the SADC treaty,” she said.
Motsumi said the two countries bilateral commissions are focused on Defence and Security matters and represent a sub-regional network of cooperation capable of maintaining and strengthening peace and security for the two countries citizenry, adding that “in this connection, our efforts contribute to the creation of a safe and secure SADC.”
Motsumi said the construction of the Kazungula Bridge will open up enormous opportunities of access between the two countries and other countries.
“Direct flights by Air Botswana from Gaborone to Lusaka which commenced in August this year will further improve communication and shorten the distance between our two countries,” she said.
Motsumi noted that the absence of a long common border has its blessings, adding that the usual challenges of transnational crimes like stock theft, human and material trafficking across ungazetted points or illegal migration are minimized, according to reports out of Botswana.
Source: Africa News