WASHINGTON DC —
The United States has commended Botswana for its love of peace, commitment to democracy, and steadfast leadership in environmental conservation, combating wildlife trafficking, and protecting the Okavango Delta.
In a statement to mark Botswana’s 50th independence anniversary, United States Secretary of State John Kerry said, “My government is also pleased to work with you in supporting human rights, empowering women and youth, and fighting epidemic disease including HIV/AIDS and malaria.
“On this special day, the United States extends its best wishes to all the people of Botswana along with hopes for a safe and prosperous year to come. On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the people of Botswana on the 50thanniversary of your nation’s independence.”
He said the United States deeply values “its friendship with your government and with all of you, a friendship based on mutual respect and responsibility.”
Several world leaders, including President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, are expected to grace the independence celebrations on Friday in Gaborone.
President Ian Khama recently suggested that Mr. Mugabe should step down to pave way for a new leader saying he is now too old to lead the southern African nation.
Speaking at a media briefing in Francistown recently, principal programmes officer for the independence celebrations, Bofelo Gabothuse, said they had implementation committees in each district so as to carry out the independence preparations countrywide with every Motswana being involved.
Botswana, which was once known as Bechuanaland, gained independence from British rule on September 30, 1966.