The Daily News | December 8, 2019
An increase of poaching incidences, especially killing of rhinos, worries President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi.
Speaking on December 6 at a graduation ceremony of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Defence Command and Staff College (DCSC), President Masisi urged graduates to utilise skills they had acquired to win the war against poaching.
“You have graduated at a time when this country is facing the challenge of poaching. Poaching has the potential to wipe out our wildlife resources thus threatening the tourism industry, one of the key engines of the growth of our economy, not to mention the ripple effect it will have on the livelihoods of the persons who live proximately to such wildlife resource,” he said.
He said the BDF graduates should pass down what they had learnt to their subordinates, thereby maintaining a sustainable, well informed, trained, disciplined and agile workforce.
“I’m informed that while appreciating the utility of the military and other security players in the country, you were also introduced to the defence and strategic studies component. This has enriched your understanding of how the defence policy and national security fit into foreign policy and diplomacy as well as democratic civil military relations,” Dr Masisi, also Commander in Chief, added.
He said a number of diplomats had been at the college giving lectures on issues of international security, diplomacy and foreign policy. He said this served to enrich the curriculum and its growth.
Dr Masisi said the input from the diplomatic community had enhanced the prestige of the college.
“The presence of students from Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe in this college demonstrates our unwavering commitment to promote both bilateral and regional cooperation. It also resonates well with my statement during the recent State-of-the-Nation Address that Botswana continues to nurture friendly relations with other countries and forge strategic partnerships with the international community for her benefit and the greater good of humanity,” he said.
He said such encounters formed part of the meaningful relations that must be cherished and grown from strength to strength.
Dr Masisi said the graduates’ qualification would go a long way in preparing them to comprehend and manage any threat that might be dictated by realities of today’s security environment which was volatile, complex and ambiguous in nature.
For his part, DCSC commandant, Brigadier Papadi Monnatlhare said the graduation of the senior command and staff course class 12 of 2019 was the culmination of a year of hard work and commitment.
He said the college had done its utmost to equip them with the tools of their trade and their supervisors and subordinates were looking forward to reap the rewards.
“It is incumbent upon yourselves to live up to expectations through embracing high levels of professionalism, providing exemplary leadership, exercising integrity and selflessness as well as providing mentorship to your subordinates,” Brigadier Monnatlhare said.
Original photo by Gerald van der Walt