NKURENKURU, 13 AUG – The vastness of the Kavango River has made policing efforts difficult in the Kavango West Region, the Namibian Police (NamPol) has said.
Acting Regional Commander, Deputy Commissioner Andreas Shilelo told Nampa here on Sunday that the police have its hands full when it comes to controlling movements along the Kavango River, which divides Namibia and Angola.
He said although there are a few official designated entry and exit points along the river, including the Katwiti Border Post, illegal entry through undesignated entry points cannot be ruled out.
Shilelo said the river, which forms the entire northern border of Angola and the Kavango West Region, is vast and too wide to patrol efficiently. Also, the lack of human resources in the police force makes the task even more difficult.
“The river is vast and criminals could be making use of undesignated entry points to go in or out of the country and it is a difficult thing to control as you can’t place an officer at every inch along the river,” he said.
The current police operations include visiting various spots along the river randomly, often in the form of an ambush to unsuspecting criminals attempting to carry out their activities in these areas, according to Shilelo.
He noted that the movement of illicit goods between the two countries can as such not be ruled out, as criminals could use the river’s vastness against law enforcement agencies.
“People would be waiting for darkness to come and then execute their criminal activities at odd places along the river and could go undetected.”
However, Shilelo added residents of the region should be assured that the police are in control of the situation, despite the challenges posed by the river as a natural border.
“It is not uncommon to have people move up and down between the two countries for either business purposes, or to visit their relatives as many have relatives on both sides of the river. Such movements are frequently monitored and controlled by the police,” he said.
Nkurenkuru is situated some 130 kilometres west of Rundu, and is the main economic centre of the Kavango West Region. – NAMPA