OSHAKATI – Chief of the Namibian Defence Force Air Marshal Martin Pinehas is concerned with the increase in incidents of civilians encroaching into military camps countrywide. During a courtesy visit to Oshana regional governor recently, Pinehas said the Namibian Defence Act has made provision for a 500-meter buffer zone between civilians’ dwellings and military camps – but of late, civilians have started building houses and local authorities allocate land close to the camps, which is of security concern.
“In our military bases, we store dangerous devices – and if these things explode, we put the lives of our people close to the bases in danger,” cautioned the NDF chief.
Pinehas has appealed to Oshana regional governor Elia Irimari to engage the local authorities and political leadership to reach consensus over the matter.
“We want our political leaders, councillors and municipalities to understand this issue so that we sensitise our communities in such a way that they understand that there is a requirement for them to stay a little far away from the military camps,” he said.
Pinehas was on a familiarisation visit to assess challenges faced by force members and connect with regional leadership in which their members operate. Pinehas further expressed the NDF is faced with many challenges, such as staff accommodation, but he assured the governor of the military commitment to protect Namibian civilians.
“The NDF has assisted with crime prevention, drought relief distribution – and currently, it is tasked with burying bodies of Covid-19,” stated the top NDF general.
Irimari assured the NDF chief of the region’s political support, ensuring civilians encroaching into military camps will be addressed and that the issue becomes a thing of the past.