Botswana’s new president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, has not changed the nation’s position of defending elephants and all wildlife from poachers.
Although it has been bandied about the media that President Masisi is not tough on poachers, ElephantRescue.Net has learned from the most reliable and trusted sources within the government of Botswana that this is pure rhetoric.
These are the facts.
1. Botswana’s anti-poaching teams were outfitted with arms of war, which they were technically forbidden by law to use. This caused a diplomatic spat with neighboring Namibia. It seems the Botswana Defence Force anti-poaching teams gunned down a considerable number of alleged poachers believed to be Namibian nationals. President Masisi merely sought to address this issue and proceed with lawful practices.
2.The Botswana Defense Force anti-poaching teams have not been disarmed. They are simply not using weapons of war at this time.
3. It was alleged that 87 elephants were killed because the anti-poaching teams were disarmed. The carcasses of the elephants in question, however, died of natural causes or were killed over a period of two years.
These false allegations have been an affront to the famed members of the Botswana Defense Force, one of the most respected armed forces in all of Sub-Sahara Africa. It has caused alarm among wildlife conservationists around the world. And, it has wrongfully questioned the integrity of President Masisi.
One can’t help but wonder if these aspersions are nothing more than political innuendos meant to cast of shadow of doubt about the new president’s leadership. Without further speculation about this, we may rest assured that Botswana’s stance against poachers remains unchanged.