February 22, 2011

Soldiers to monitor borders with Lesotho

The South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF) will deploy soldiers to man the country's borders with Lesotho to keep an eye on the movement of people and goods between the two countries. Minister of Defence Lindiwe Sisulu said the soldiers will be deployed from 1 April. SANDF has already returned to the borders with Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia, Sisulu said. "The SANDF has made noticeable achievements since its deployment to the borders. Farmers and business people along the borders have reported a drop in cross-border crime, and a number of arrests have been made, which have impacted heavily on syndicates trading in illegal goods and vehicle theft," she said. To ensure safe and secure tourism, Sisulu said that the department had also started deploying on the border along the Kruger National Park. "We will also deploy inside the park to support the internal security of the Kruger Park and to assist the SA Police Service with combating rhino poaching," she said.

Sisulu said that South Africa was strengthening its sea and air border management, too. "The SS Mendi, a South African Navy MEKO Class Frigate, has resumed patrol along the Mozambique Channel, where we are cooperating with the Mozambican authorities to ensure maritime security in Southern African waters." The minister announced that the SANDF sought to cover 4.800 kilometres of land border by 2013. (Bua News)

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