Sunday, October 17, 2021

Botswana police roped to provide 24 hour security at Libyan embassy

Botswana Government has decided to provide Libyan Embassy with a 24-hour security service following an incident in which that country’s Ambassador to Botswana, Abdelmatlob Buhawia, was held hostage by some of his staff members recently.

However high ranking Libyan delegation officials are expected to arrive in Gaborone this week to try and resolve the standoff between the warring parties.

Reports reaching this publication suggest the Government has deployed Special Support Group (SSG) from the Botswana Police Service (BPS) to patrol the embassy on a 24 hour basis.

Almost two weeks ago about three members of staff held Buhawia hostage for more than two hours and ordered him to write a resignation letter.

Buhawia is said to have tried to escape using one of the diplomat’s cars but the three members who held him hostage barricaded the Libyan embassy residence. 

It is reported that the three staff members believed to be security agents ordered the representative to take only his file and jacket and leave the Embassy premises immediately. 

Buhawia was let out by the alleged staff members and he walked to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to seek help. 

On Monday last week, Buhawia was escorted by Botswana security agents to the embassy and tried to open the main door but unfortunately they could not find entry as the door locks were changed and they went back to find ways on how to get in the offices.

Buhawia is accused by his countrymen at the embassy of maladministration and they demand that he be recalled and sent back to Libya. 

Meanwhile it is reported that a team of high ranking Libyan delegation is expected to arrive in Gaborone.

It is not yet clear whether the two warring factions will be able to resolve their differences as they do not see eye to eye.

There is a high probability that they might all be recalled and sent back to their country.    

The minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi acknowledged to this publication briefly that she is aware of the situation at the Libyan Embassy.

“I wouldn’t want to go into the details of what really transpired that day.”

But she said the Libyan Ambassador  to Botswana and his staff had some misunderstandings which resulted in Botswana Police Service being called to diffuse the tension.

“The situation was a purely administrative matter therefore Botswana would not want to intervene and be involved in administrative issues. I strongly believe that the Libyans themselves are capable of resolving their differences amicably without any foreign intervention”. 

Venson-Moitoi assured the nation and foreign nationals that they “should not panic because sooner than later both parties will resolve their differences”.

Contacted for comment police spokesperson assistant commissioner Christopher Mbulawa declined to comment on the issue and referred this publication to Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is better placed to comment and if they have to verify anything we will be able to assist them, therefore the media can seek information from Foreign Affairs,” he said.`

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper