KATWITWI – Angola’s Cuando Cubango governor José Martins says the temporary border closure brought hardship for families on both sides of the Namibia-Angola border.
Martins made the remarks on Thursday at the official opening of the Namibia-Angola border at Katwitwi to symbolise the free movement of goods and people between Namibia and Angola.
“Namibians and Angolans are brothers and sisters and we live near each other and have families on both sides of the border, the closing of the borders created problems among families and we have come to this place today to actually implement the decisions of our two governments which is to open the Katwitwi border post,’’ he said last week.
“Because of Covid, in March 2020 all border posts were closed but our two governments have been working together hand in hand as Covid-19 has come to stay with us. Due to that, it was determined that the borders have to be opened to facilitate the livelihoods of our people,’’ he noted.
The governor said business can also now be facilitated between the two regions and countries, services can now be delivered for both sides and tourists are now free to visit from both sides by not forgetting health regulations in place. On both sides, there are health officials to see to it that health regulations are adhered to.
“We have to thank our governments for the way they handled the situation. We also would like to thank our communities for their cooperation, especially with the health ministry’s protocols and security clusters when we were implementing regulations,” said the Kavango West governor, Sirkka Ausiku.
She said the closure of the border was not easy because it affected communities and the countries at large as they depend on each other for services and resources.
“That’s why we have to thank them for their understanding and cooperation. Covid-19 is among us and the only solution is for us to be vaccinated and I am happy that my counterpart briefed me on how you are prepared on your side of the border post,’’ she said.
“The process is the same on this side, we just want to continue working together and make the livelihoods of our communities on both sides better so that they continue living together in harmony,’’ she noted.
Ausiku urged communities along the two borders to get vaccinated and those planning to move between the two countries should approach health facilities before doing so.