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Bilateral Zimbabwe-Botswana Talks Set on Detention of Gaborone Rangers


The three Botswanan rangers were fined US$100 apiece in a court appearance in Zimbabwe on Monday after being found guilty of unlawful entry into the country, but were acquitted on arms charges

A spokesman for the government of Botswana said Monday that Gaborone would hold bilateral security talks with Zimbabwe on February 22 to iron out a dispute over the arrest of three Botswanan game ranges within Zimbabwe.

The three were fined US$100 apiece in a court appearance Monday after being found guilty of unlawful entry into Zimbabwe, but were acquitted on charges of smuggling guns into the country and illegally possessing firearms.

The wildlife officials were picked up three weeks ago after inadvertently straying into Zimbabwe as they tracked lions that had killed some cattle in Lesoma village on the Botswana-Zimbabwe border.

Botswana recalled two attachés from its Harare embassy late last week over the incident and said it was demanding that Zimbabwe's corresponding security and military attachés Gaborone to leave by the end of the month.

Botswana government press secretary Jeff Ramsay told Studio Seven reporter Patience Rusere he had not heard of the court he says their release would be quote helpful in mending relations with Harare.

Our Gaborone correspondent Martin Ngwenya said the incident has increased tension between Botswana nationals and Zimbabweans there

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