BDF admits Mozambique Terrorism Threat

BDF commander says Botswana is now a “soft target”
Describes cybercrime as a serious security challenge for Botswana
BDF troops push terrorists back and reclaim territory in Mozambique

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF) has warned of the possibil-
ity of terrorists striking Botswana because of the country’s strong
military presence in war-stricken Cabo Del Gabo region of Mo-
zambique.In fact, the Commander of the BDF Placid Segokgo has told Parliament
that Botswana is already a soft target for the Islamic terrorists. “We have
realised that our footprint there creates an even bigger vulnerability here,”
Segokgo told the legislators recently.

“So we must be ready, together with our sister agencies, to be able to
adjust that, particularly in terms of intelligence gathering.”
General Segokgo emphasised the need for the BDF’s “sister agencies”
to be ready in the eventuality of a strike. He also noted that cybercrime
has suddenly emerged as one of the country’s biggest security challenges.
Botswana has contributed more than 300 troops to the Southern Afri-
can Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) where
hundreds of civilians have lost their lives and thousands remain displaced
since the conflict began in 2017. BDF troops are based in Mueda Village.
The head of the SAMIM mission is Professor Mpho Molomo of the
University of Botswana.

Last month, Sector Five Commander of the BDF combat troops, Lieu-
tenant Colonel Molebi Silas, told a delegation led by Vice President
Slumber Tsogwane that there was barely a sign of life when the troops
arrived in Mueda as residents had fled the area after the terrorists killed
11 villagers in November 2021. However, the BDF has driven them back
and reclaimed some of the territory.

According to the Deputy Force Commander of SAMIM, Sam Barwa-
batsile, they are preparing to transition from Scenario 6 to Scenario 5
because the situation continues to improve. This transition means that the
SADC forces will move from a combat approach to peacekeeping.
Botswana troops were deployed to Mozambique in July 2021.