By Elezo Libanda
Katima Mulilo, Aug. 12 – The Caprivi Concerned Group on 29 July 2022 asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate and prosecute the president of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi or seven members of the Botswana Defence Force, who fatally shot four unarmed fishermen on 5 November 2020.
President Masisi is the commander-in-chief of the Botswana Defence. Extrajudicial killings or murder is a crime against humanity under the ICC Rome statute and Botswana is a signatory to the Rome Statute of the ICC since 2008.
An investigation by the Zambezi Lives Matter pressure group in 2020 shortlisted 39 Namibians that were gunned down by Botswana Defence Force members with the youngest on that list being a nine-year-old from Lizauli village.
Members of the BDF’s anti-poaching unit use a shoot-to-kill policy which authorities in that country call standard operating procedures or rules of engagement. Through this policy, many people living along the Chobe river have been mistaken for poachers and killed by the unit without a prior judicial process.
The policy has never been scrutinized by an independent international judicial institution like the ICC to test it against international human rights law.