Namibia + 6 more

Southern Africa: IRIN News Briefs, 13 March

NAMIBIA: Rocket attacks in Rundu
At least two 122 mm rockets fired from Angola on Sunday landed near the high-density residential area of Sauyemwa, just one km from the northern Namibian border town of Rundu, 'The Namibian' reported on Monday.

The newspaper said two other rockets, allegedly fired by Angolan UNITA rebels, hit an open space near a hut on the southern side of the Kehemu settlement on the outskirts of Rundu. The report added that when the shelling started, people who had gathered at a recreational spot near the town fled the "Rundu Beach". No one was injured in the attacks, said the reports.

A Namibian Defence Force (NDF) spokesman confirmed the explosions, but added: "There is nothing like war here in Rundu. Explosions don't mean people are fighting."

Meanwhile, suspected UNITA rebels reportedly shot dead and robbed two people on Friday along the Trans-Caprivi highway when they attacked a government vehicle in the country's far northeast, 'The Namibian' said.

An NDF spokesman told the newspaper that a group of between 10 and 20 attackers were involved in the incident. The report said the attack brings to 12 the number of known people shot dead in suspected UNITA attacks since Namibia allowed Angolan government forces to operate from its territory last November.

BOTSWANA: Permission to sell ivory stockpiles

Botswana's government is to seek the permission of the UN-sponsored International Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to sell more ivory to dispose of its existing stockpiles when the body meets in Kenya this weekend, PANA reported on Monday.

Botswana, said the report, would seek permission to sell the stocks at an annual quota of 12 mt. The country also wants to be allowed to sell hides of some animals classified as endangered to a local industry which will process and export these as finished products.

Botswana is said to have surpassed its holding capacity of the elephant population which numbers 106,000 as opposed to the 50,000 elephants it should have, said the reports.

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Epidemic risk due to floods

More than 10 million people face the risk of epidemics as the result of floods that hit Southern Africa in the last month, the health ministers of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa said at the weekend.

The ministers, according to press reports, are concerned at the possible spread of infection through the deficiency of drinking water as the majority of flood-hit areas do not have functioning water systems.

The ministers reportedly formed a committee to collect information about the number of displaced persons in their countries who are in need of accommodation, the regular supply of drinking water and all cases of malaria, diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera, typhoid and meningitis.

At the same time, heads of state and government from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are scheduled to meet in Mozambique on Tuesday to assess the impact of floods on the region, AFP reported on Monday.


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