At least 30 Special Support Group SSG officers have just returned from Lesotho.
Members of the SSG had been deployed to troubled mountain kingdom of Lesotho as part of peace keeping initiative.
This was the second time that the SSG has participated in peace keeping in Africa.
Deputy Commander of SSG assistant police commissioner Kgosiitsile Bosilong confirmed the return of his officers.
“It is true that we have just returned from Lesotho as police peace keepers together with other SADC members.”
He said this was the second time that SSG participated in peace keeping. The first mission was in Dafur, Sudan a few years ago.
Kgosiitsile explained that there were about 30 SSG officers both men and women who participated in the just ended peace keeping mission in Lesotho.
He said sometime this year he was summoned by the police commissioner to inform him that they would be sent to Maseru as peace keepers following a wave of political instability within that country.
“As you might be aware that SSG is always ready for any assignment, both men and women have long been ready and when they were told about the peace mission it did not come as a surprise to us,” he said.
He added that “it should be noted that we have a good number of officers who went for peace keeping training and those officers are doing well during ┬á such assignments.”
The police chief stated that before they took up the assignment, first they had to make sure that they had the right equipment for the mission and they pulled a number of necessary equipment that Botswana Police Service (BPS) has including vehicles.
When asked whether they were ┬áarmed he replied that “no we were not armed because our mission was mainly to bring peace among Basotho not to fight them therefore it was not ideal to carry weapons as police officers. I think I saw a very few members of the South African National Police (SAPS) that were armed.”
Bosilong indicated that they left their main camp in Gaborone in the morning on a convoy ┬áand passed through Ramatlabama border post were they were welcomed by the SAPS to escort them through South Africa border to Lesotho.
“It was a very lovely journey indeed and we did not experience any obstacles along the way and the public was just waving and smiling at us while passing in vehicles,” he said.
Upon arrival in Lesotho SSG members were then dispatched all over the country where they were assigned to police the country.
“SSG did not encounter any difficulties when interacting with Basotho and that made our mission very easy and none of us sustained any injuries during the time that we were in Lesotho”.He admitted that Lesotho was far much better than Sudan as Sudan was a war torn nation.
When asked how much the mission cost the government, Bosilong would not want to be drawn in to the matter.
“I am not at liberty to divulge the cost of the mission,” he said.