Botswana becomes 'soft target'

Soilders to Mozambique PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Soilders to Mozambique PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

With the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) troops currently battling against Islamist insurgents in Mozambique, Botswana has become what the military calls a 'soft target'.

Last year, President Mokgweetsi Masisi sent off troops to Mozambique as part of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Standby Force to provide regional support and combat the threat of terrorism and acts of violent extremism in the Cabo Delgado region. Now, according to the BDF commander Placid Segokgo, the BDF troops’ presence there has made Botswana vulnerable. Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Friday, Segokgo indicated that they continue to face challenges like cyber crime and terrorism and the latter specifically because of their presence in Mozambique. “We have realised that our footprint there creates an even bigger vulnerability here so we must be ready together with our sister agencies to be able to adjust that, particularly ready in terms of the intelligence gathering,” he said.

With the enemy in Mozambique reportedly multifaceted and diverse, Segokgo said they should be able to make sure that they are not reactive but rather proactive to the challenge. He said with the assistance of other security organs, they would heighten security measures and intensify intelligence activities. Typically when a country intervenes militarily anywhere in the world, there is bound to be that retaliation and most states are always on the alert. Besides the threat that can come from the BDF’s presence in Mozambique, Segokgo also indicated that their footprint there would provide an opportunity because they interact with other forces in the locality.

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