FURTHER clashes between protesters against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, and Femicide the Namibian Police and in the streets of Windhoek should be avoided at all costs.
Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila provided the Namibian Government’s reaction on the protesters’ petition handed in at the Parliament Building on Thursday and called on all Namibians to remain calm and unite in combating Gender-Based Violence.
“We are on the same side. So, let us work together in unity, for it is when united that we can succeed to defeat this evil of femicide, and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence,” she said
While addressing the altercation between the protesters and the Namibian Police earlier on Saturday she described the events that unfolded as regrettable.
“Our police force is here to protect and serve the Namibian people and to maintain law and order, and they are committed to carrying out their mandate in a professional manner. They need the support of all of us as they carry out their national duty in the service of all of us,” the Prime Minister said.
She gave the assurance that the Namibian Government will not rest until every Namibian can feel safe every time and everywhere in the country.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila called for calm and cooperation of every person in the country while the Government formulates measures to better deal with the issue.
The full address of the Prime Minister reads as follows:
The Government has noted with grave concern the continuing high incidences of sexual and gender-based violence in our country. We are particularly concerned about the increased number of violence against our girl children, especially those with disabilities, and the increasing number of killings of our women.
We have taken note of the petition that was addressed to the Speaker of the National Assembly concerning this matter.
As the leader of Government business in Parliament, I wish to state: We share in the repugnance of the Namibian public at this and are in full agreement with the public that this situation cannot be allowed to continue. We assure the Namibian people that the petition is receiving priority; Since receiving the petitions, we have been working around the clock to review the demands and assess the key areas that we intend to respond to, including enhancing the policy, legal and institutional safeguards; We intend to provide formal feedback on Tuesday after our Cabinet meeting, although implementation will commence on any individual measures once finalized even before then.
In the meantime, we call for calm and cooperation of everyone as we deal with this matter. We assure the Namibian nation, that we, as their elected leaders, feel their pain, hear their cries, and understand the anxiety. We are in solidarity with you, as you protest against this grave situation of violence that our mothers and sisters are subjected to in this country.
We shall not rest until every Namibian girl and woman, and indeed every resident of this country, can feel safe every time and everywhere in their country.
The reported incidences of altercations between the police and protesters which resulted in arrests are highly regretted. Our police force is here to protect and serve the Namibian people and to maintain law and order, and they are committed to carrying out their mandate in a professional manner. They need the support of all of us as they carry out their national duty in the service of all of us.
We are on the same side. So, let us work together in unity, for it is only when united that we can succeed to defeat this evil of sexual and GBV.