Botswana’s Minister of Justice Defence and Security, Ramadeluka Seretse, this week said that it would be very unfortunate if the raging diplomatic war between Botswana and Zimbabwe leads to war.
“Botswana is totally not at war with Zimbabwe. It will be unfortunate if this misunderstanding worsens into a war,” he said on Friday.
Seretse’s statements come after the recent arrest and conviction of three wildlife officers who had strayed into Zimbabwe while tracking lions, sparking a diplomatic row that saw the two countries exchanging harsh words.
Seretse said that the officers’ arrest and subsequent conviction was unfortunate, especially as the two countries have in the past agreed that they would not erect a security fence at some points along their common border so that they do not disturb the free movement of wild animals.
“The Zimbabwean government is fully aware of such an agreement. That is why we were surprised when the three officers were arrested,” he said.
To avoid any repeats during their patrols, Botswana has since advised their law enforcement agencies, especially the anti poaching unit and the police, to be more careful when they approach areas where there is no erected fence.