Operation Kalahari Desert claims another “victim”
by Ruth Kamwi
Other allegations of assaults by officers during the new “Operation Kalahari Desert” have emerged.
AGAIN, another civilian claimed he was assaulted last Thursday at the Goreangab Dam in Windhoek by members of the new ‘Operation Kalahari Desert’.
Ananias Ihulu (30) broke down in tears as she said Namibian Wednesday that around 8:00 am that morning, a group of more than 10 soldiers took turns hitting him around the chest because he was speaking quietly to them.
Ihulu, who is a construction worker, added that the heavy-handed men confiscated construction equipment, including an inverter.
The alleged victim said he was walking with a colleague when the two men were stopped dead by officers in a Namibian Defense Forces (NDF) vehicle. After dismounting, the soldiers reportedly questioned the duo about where they got the equipment they were carrying.
Ihulu said he answered the officers’ question, but they then assaulted him for seemingly speaking in a soft tone. Although he denied doing so on purpose, he explained that the sound of the vehicle’s engine revving could have prevented the soldier from hearing it clearly. His friend was spared because he didn’t speak at all.
In addition to the equipment, Ihulu claimed he also lost two phones and his wallet in the assault.
Ihulu’s colleague Enos Disol confirmed yesterday that he was with him when he was assaulted. He said some FDN soldiers and police asked them what they were carrying and then felt disrespectful when Ihulu replied in a low voice. He added that Ihulu’s voice was overwhelmed by the engine of the NDF vehicle. According to Disol, the police then used the back of a gun to assault him before he fled to safety. “That’s when they decided to confiscate our equipment and took the bag with our equipment,” Disol explained. He added that “they gave us a number to claim our equipment”.
The Namibian spoke with one of the officers who allegedly assaulted Ihulu on Wednesday. The officer, who did not give his name, said there had been a confrontation between the officers and Ihulu. He claimed that Ihulu tried to assault police and NDF agents before fleeing and dropping the construction material he was carrying. The officer told the Namibian that they then picked up the items.
“He has to recover the equipment from the Wanaheda police station,” the officer said, adding that “the idea of civilians beating law enforcement officers is a daydream.”
The Namibian also reported on Wednesday that two brothers from Rehoboth claimed to have been severely beaten by police during a “Operation Kalahari Desert” patrol in the town last Saturday.
When asked about the implications of the alleged assaults, Inspector General of Police Sebastian Ndeitunga told the Namibian this week that although he does not know the facts surrounding the latest incident, clear instructions have been given to members of the operation. not to attack civilians.
He hinted that people just wanted to tarnish the image of the operation and condemned the sensationalism of the assault cases.