WINDHOEK – The People’s Litigation Center (PLC) has laid a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the alleged crimes committed against Namibian civilians by the Namibian police (Nampol) and defence force (NDF).
According to a letter dated September 6, the complaint was necessitated by the reported widespread incidences of crimes against civilians, including extra judicial killings by the Namibian security forces in their execution of then Operation Hornkranz and now Operation Kalahari Desert.
“The People’s Litigation Center is hereby lodging a complaint against the Namibian Police Force, the Namibian Defence Force, the Namibian Correctional Services and the Windhoek City Police in terms of the Rome Statute Article 7, Crimes against Humanity,” states the letter.
PLC’s director Umunee Marinee Matundu said that the intent is to create awareness to the international community of what is happening in the country.
“The intentions of the operations are good and we understand that it is needed to create a safer environment but how do we make it sustainable in a way that civilians do not become victims,” explained Matundu.
Last week, a third victim Benisius Kalola, 32, a resident of Single Quarters in Katutura was shot by members of the NDF in Operation Kalahari Desert.
Over two weeks ago, Herman Shiimi, 21, was shot by an NDF member in Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay after the second phase of the joint operation was launched.
New Era reported that Shiimi was trying to flee after he allegedly robbed another man at around 02h30 at a popular hangout area in Kuisebmond.
About two months ago, a Zimbabwean taxi driver, Talent Fambaune, who was living in Namibia, was shot by an NDF officer during the first phase of Operation Kalahari Desert. Fambaune was on his way back home after visiting a friend in Hakahana location.
He saw a roadblock metres ahead and tried to drive back, as foreigners are not allowed to drive taxis in Namibia.
NDF soldier Gerson Nakale was arrested in connection with Fambaune’s killing and he remains in custody, from where his bid for bail has failed so far.
The latest phase of Operation Kalahari Desert ended on Sunday.