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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The polemics of security intelligence in Botswana: real or imagined security threats?
Author:Gwatiwa, Tshepo T.
Periodical:African Security Review (ISSN 2154-0128)
Geographic term:Botswana
Subjects:intelligence services
national security
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/10246029.2014.993667
Abstract:This article discusses the validity of national security threats in Botswana and whether they justified the creation of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS), which has been controversial since its formation. Since its inception in 2008, the DISS has been accused of many human rights violations and politicisation. Without fully deliberating on the basis for its creation, some discourses have focused on the politicised operations without relation to what the DISS is supposed to be doing. The author works under the assumption that debates should be shaped by whether it was necessary to create the DISS, and, if so, how we can shape and steer debates on its oversight, management, reform and operations. This article argues that despite the politicisation of the DISS, Botswana's national security threats are both real and imagined; and that domestic threats to national security have moved from the conceptual 'imagined' category to the 'real'. However, that in itself did not warrant the design and mandate of the DISS, and the article argues that it was external threats that really warranted the creation of a civilian intelligence agency. The article concludes that Botswana faces a plethora of external security threats - traditional and non-traditional - that warranted the creation and continuance of the DISS. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]