The Botswana government has vowed to maintain their stance on “Shoot to Kill” policy as China joins war on anti-poaching.
The government of Botswana through the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism has warned that the “Shoot to Kill” policy among security agents will remain the option despite criticism from the international community.
This was said by Minister for Environment, Wildlife and Tourism , Tshekedi Khama in an interview after receiving a donation of over a P17 million worth of anti-poaching equipment from Chinese Embassy.
Khama said despite criticism from the international community on the “shoot to kill” policy there were no efforts among countries to support anti-poaching initiatives to save wildlife species targeted by criminal syndicates.
Khama stated that there has been an outcry among the international communities about the shoot to kill policy while countries fail to come on board through viable options.
He stated that currently China and the Netherlands are the two countries that have supported the anti-poaching initiatives aimed at protecting wildlife species such as elephants targeted by criminals for ivory.
He said that Botswana will continue with the “shoot to kill” policy if the lives of those protecting wildlife species are threatened.
“Our position on what we do when we find poachers with weapons is to defend ourselves if our security forces are threatened,” he stated.
He said that if countries want to criticize they should play a role as China is doing towards the anti poaching inititiatives. Khama said Botswana will only listen to those who contribute towards the anti poaching effort.
“My contention here is those countries that sit on stadiums and shout at the game but do not play the game. And there is a lot of lip-service where people come and critisise the way Botswana is dealing with anti poaching yet they don’t assist in anti poaching initiatives,”added Khama.
China Ambassador to Botswana, Zheng Zhung Qiang stated that China’s role in protection of wildlife species in Botswana was influenced by Botswana efforts in protecting wildlife species.
“We have to support those who have done well in protecting wildlife species. China highly appreciates contributions made by Botswana in protecting wildlife species,”said Zhung.
Zhung further stated that wildlife protection has become an important part of China/Africa cooperation.
He stated that this was supported by the ten cooperation plan that has been adopted by China and African countries.
He said that wildlife protection in Africa was among the ten cooperation plan that was adopted lately by China and African countries.