Botswana drafts legislation to ban chemical weapons

Botswana's Ministry of Justice and Security is putting together a draft bill to take to parliament that would ban chemical weapons.

During a stakeholder workshop on Thursday in Gaborone, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Segakweng Tsiane said that the draft legislation would make sure that toxic chemicals and their precursors are not produced, transferred and developed in Botswana, GABZ FM reports.

Tsiane said that the bill would domesticate the Chemical Weapons Convention and prohibit the use of riot control agents as a warfare method in the Southern African nation.

The goal of the legislation is to prevent the use of substances that can cause temporary or permanent incapacitation or death to animals and humans. Tsiane said that toxic chemicals should be controlled by each country to protect public health and the environment.

Ross Sanoto, the ministry's deputy director of security, said that it took Botswana 10 years to study and accept the convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons. He said that since that time, Botswana made progress toward adopting and domesticating provisions of the convention, GABZ FM reports.

Botswana became the 115th state party to the CWC on September 30, 1998. The country is also a state party to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, the Mine Ban Treaty and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.