Journal of
African Studies and Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Afr. Stud. Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2189
  • DOI: 10.5897/JASD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 198

Full Length Research Paper

Intelligence operations as terrorism: Emerging state terrorism in Botswana

Tshepo T. Gwatiwa
Program in International Cooperation, Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University, South Korea.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 September 2011
  •  Published: 30 September 2011


Botswana is considered one of Africa’s credible democracies. Its economic performance and good governance over the years distinguished its statehood from its African counterparts. The stable political landscape backdating to independence also made it a regional security exception. However, the security landscape has changed over the last three years. Using a historical procedure, the article illustrates how the changing political landscape resulted in the creation of a securitized state controlled by intelligence agencies. It also employs a survey procedure—using interviews and other qualitative sources—to illustrate how incidents of incidents of intellectual repression, communication surveillance, extra judicial killings and politicized covert operations have changed the country. The article interrogates the magnitude of security threats as well as the competence of the intelligence security outfits. Having proven the existence of common denominators of state terrorism in Botswana, which point to emerging state terrorism, the study proceeds to make recommendations for structural and operational reform.

Key words: Botswana, Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS), state-terrorism, extrajudicial killings, surveillance