Botswana, Namibia begin joint military exercise


Botswana and Namibia are due to begin a joint military exercise today, with a focus on peace support operations.

Exercise Tshwaragano II is due to begin on 16 July and conclude on the 30th. It will be held in the Kgalagadi district of Botswana and involve around 1 200 soldiers from the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) and the Namibian Defence Force (NDF).

According to a statement from the BDF’s Director of Protocol and Public Affairs, the exercise aims to improve interoperability between Botswana’s and Namibia’s militaries in line with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Standby Force. The Standby Force is due to go live on 1 January 2019.

Namibian military spokesperson Major Petrus Shilumbu told Informante that the NDF will send a Motorised Infantry Company to Botswana.

The Exercise comes after Namibia hosted Exercise Hanganee I in the Omaheke region of Namibia in 2016.

Exercise Tshwaragano I was held in Botswana in 2014 and involved around 600 soldiers.

Between 1 and 18 October, SADC nations, including South Africa, will take part in the Standby Force command post Exercise Umodzi in Malawi. The SADC goes on standby on 1 January 2019 for six months and Umodzi is preparation for that. It will test the capability of the Standby Force to plan and deploy a tactical headquarters.