Launch of the “Kalahari Desert” operation
by Ruth Kamwi
POLICE Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga stressed that the new ‘Operation Kalahari Desert’ will be used to intensively hunt down criminals when it was launched in Windhoek yesterday.
“It will never end,” Ndeitunga said of the continued anti-crime operations. He explained that “Operation Kalahari Desert” will run at intervals until December.
“Criminals need to know this has started and will never end.” He added that another operation would be introduced in January. Although he could not reveal the cost of the operations, he said they were expensive.
Performed by a lively parade at the Israel Iyambo Police Training College, “Operation Kalahari Desert” replaces “Operation Hornkranz” which ended last Friday after his inauguration by President Hage Geingob last December.
Earlier this year, The Namibian reported that the Nama Traditional Leaders Association denounced the name “Operation Hornkranz”, claiming the code name was unresponsive to the Nama tribe who were affected by the Hornkranz massacre in 1893. .
The joint operation will continue to consist of members of the Namibian Police Force, the Namibian Defense Force, the Namibian Correctional Service and the Windhoek City Police.
Ndeitunga mentioned that the operation could call on other stakeholders to help, if needed.
He added that immigration, the agriculture ministry, the environment ministry as well as the tourism ministry would be among the stakeholders whose mostly police-led aid would call for reinforcements.
Denouncing the brutality that marred Operation Hornkranz, which has just ended, the police inspector urged the uniformed forces to approach the citizens with friendship. He added that uniformed troops should only resort to violence as a last line of defense.
Ndeitunga warned people to refrain from making false statements against members of the operation, giving the example of a woman who was recently assaulted by her partner.
According to him, she then pinned the assault on the ongoing wave of alleged Operation Hornkranz beatings.
Although many people reported being assaulted by police two weeks ago, the inspector general said the brutality associated with the operation that just ended is far from reality on the ground.
âGo to the communities to interview and get a feel for the community. Most people only see the negative side and not the positive side. Many members of the public are happy. Some say that in our region there are no more cell phone sensors. There are no longer people threatening us, âNdeitunga said.
At the same event, the acting chief of the municipal police, Nathaniel Nendongo, welcomed the continuation of the operation as a bonus.