Namibian Refugees’ Status Ends – Kgathi

| May 19, 2015

The DailyNews of May 18, 2015 carried a story which implied that Namibian refugees at the Dukwi Refugee Camp said they will not return to their home country.

But the matter is that the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Mr Shaw Kgathi, went there to explain the status of the Namibian refugees in Botswana.

In that meeting, Minister Kgathi said after several meetings with his counterparts, they reached a resolution that the Namibian refugees’ status in Botswana be ceased.

He addressed the meeting with his Namibian counterpart, Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Ms Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana and also attended by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) officials.

Minister Kgathi explained that the reasons that made them to be refugees had since ended with their country being democratic and peaceful.

And as such with them having their roots traced there they should be assisted to go back home to play a meaningful role in maintaining the peace enjoyed by other Namibians back in their country.

The repatriation process, he explained, will be on a voluntary basis with each one of them assisted as an individual not a group, adding that the process started with immediate effect and they will be given until December 31 this year for them to have all left the camp.

Furthermore, he emphasised that throughout the whole process they were going to make sure that they are assisted with everything which is due to them.

Minister Kgathi further asserted that they have made a commitment to facilitate a journey in which they would want to go and see where they will be relocated before the final relocation.

He, however, stressed that after the deadline of their refugee status has expired, their stay in Botswana is going to be completely changed as they will be required to have proper documents such as residents and work permits to guarantee their stay.

For her part, Ms Livula-Ithana urged fellow Namibians to return home and join others who are working to develop their country, noting that their country has just celebrated its 25th independence which goes by the slogan Economic prosperity for all.

“As a unit we could develop our country to greater heights,” she said.

And she informed them that proper arrangements have been made to have them assisted with basic needs citing that UNHCR has made available grants to be given to each one of them which come in the form of US $300.00 grant, US $100.00 for their children and US $200.00 for education.

Speaking on behalf of the refugees, Mr Felix Kakula appreciated the good treatment they have been receiving at the hands of their host, saying Botswana government has treated them well. However he expressed lack of optimism on the conditions back home, saying he did not believe that the political conditions back home was conducive for their return.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Human Rights

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