Namibia, Zim refugees apply for repatriation in Botswana
Story from: CAJ News Africa
from Katlego Sibanda
in Gaborone, Botswana
GABORONE, (CAJ News) – FIFTEEN refugees from Zimbabwe and Namibia have applied for voluntary repatriation from Botswana, amid fleeing from their countries for fear of persecution.
Shaw Kgathi, the Defence, Justice and Security Minister has applauded the voluntary decision, citing that it resonates with the country’s continued strive to facilitate the return of refugees to their respective countries.
“We believe, this is the most durable solution,” said Kgathi, adding that repatriation is facilitated in collaboration with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
The minister said eight Namibians and seven Zimbabweans have opted for voluntary repatriation, this year, between January and February.
“This has built positiveness (sic) towards the repatriation process. I have no doubt that many more will come forward, as we believe there is no place better than home for any internationally displaced person,” said Kgathi.
However during the same period, 48 refugees originating from Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi were re-settled in Canada, Australia, Finland and the USA.
Meanwhile government is working on amending the Refugee (Recognition and Control) Act. The intention of the amendment is to improve the management of refugees, and to align it to other domestic and international statutes and obligations, balanced with the emerging global security challenges.
Botswana hosts about 3000 refugees from 14 countries across Africa and the highest number of refugees are from Namibia with 919, Zimbabwe 688 while Somalia has 316.
– CAJ News
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