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Nandi-Ndaitwah condemns poaching in Angola

2024-01-15  Festus Hamalwa

Nandi-Ndaitwah condemns poaching in Angola

ONDJIVA - Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has cautioned Namibians grazing their livestock in Angola to stop poaching and illegally fencing off large tracts of land in the neighbouring country.

Nandi-Ndaitwah, who doubles as Namibia’s international relations minister, said some Namibian farmers also smuggle illegal weapons into Angola, demonstrating that Namibians’ behaviour in that country is a cause of concern. 

She made these remarks during a meeting with Angola’s Minister of External Relations Téte António, and Namibian farmers at Helao Nafidi on Friday.

Earlier in the day, the two ministers, accompanied by officials from both governments, held a similar meeting in the southern Angolan city of Ondjiva, the administrative capital of the Cunene province. 

Hundreds of cattle farmers who graze their livestock in Angola converged at Helao Nafidi, where they met Nandi-Ndaitwah and António for consultative talks to reaffirm the importance of peaceful co-existence between the two nations.

At both meetings, it was stressed that Namibian farmers who take their livestock to graze in Angola must observe and comply with the laws of that country to avoid destroying the good longstanding relationship between the two governments.

“Graze freely in Angola, provided you obey the laws. First register yourselves with the Angolan government, and get a letter of authorisation to graze in the area,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.

She then called on Namibians not to engage in activities which could put bilateral relations between the two countries in jeopardy.

The delegation also spoke about the importance of upholding the 1992 agreement, which speaks about the free movement of people and goods along the border.

In Ondjiva, Nandi-Ndaitwah urged the relevant authorities in both countries to work together to achieve this objective of ensuring peaceful co-existence and good neighbourliness along the common border.

“We are good neighbours, and as such we need each other. But the goodwill and solidarity extended to each other should never be taken for granted. It is why we came together today. It is our historical obligation that we maintain the peace and stability that so happily continues to exist between our two countries, as that is the only way we will be able to effectively serve our peoples and take them to a balanced, shared prosperity,” she added.

Also speaking at the event, António assured Namibians that Angola is open to all, but he emphasised the importance of observing the laws in place.

Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of Namibian farmers grazing livestock in Angola, Daniel Mbangula called on the Angolan government to exert punitive measures against those violating the laws of that country.

“We have challenges of stock theft at the borders as livestock is being stolen from Angola, while some are being stolen and taken into Angola from Namibia,” he noted. 

Mbangula also called on the Namibian and Angolan governments to allow for the free marketing of livestock between the countries because this will help them to generate income.

He expressed gratitude to the government of Angola for allowing Namibian farmers to graze in the country, contributing to their survival and livelihood.

Angola is an important neighbour: Ndeitunga

On his part, Ohangwena governor Sebastian Ndeitunga said Angola is an important neighbour and sister country. 

Speaking to Nampa on Thursday, the former police chief said Ohangwena and other border regions must maintain a good relationship with Angola.

“Angola is a very important neighbour and sister country. Not only Ohangwena should have a good relationship with Angola, but the whole of Namibia, including all the bordering regions, should promote friendship and good neighbourliness. Our relationship with Angola should be closer than ever. It should be the closest friendship that promotes trade and commerce as well as political relationships,” Ndeitunga said.

He added that Angola has been a trench for the revolution in southern Africa, which led to the liberation of Namibia and other countries in the region, including South Africa.

“Therefore, all of us, not only Ohangwena, have to take off our hats for Angola for their assistance when we were fighting for our liberation,” he added.

The retired police chief-cum-politician was speaking ahead of a high-level visit to Ohangwena by Nandi-Ndaitwah and António.

- Additional reporting by Nampa



2024-01-15  Festus Hamalwa

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