Lilongwe — SOME 57 Malawians displaced by the recent violence against migrants in South Africa have been repatriated to their country.
They are among 105 nationals that expressed willingness to voluntarily return to Malawi but some decided to return to their communities in Durban after the situation improved.
Those that chose to return to Malawi have been received in groups, with the first group of 19 migrants (1 female, 18 males) received on April 8. The second group of 23 migrants (1 female, 22 males) and the final batch of 15 males were received last Friday.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the governments of Malawi and South Africa, assisted with the voluntary return.
Kenneddy Nkhoma, Chief Director for the Ministry of Homeland Security in Malawi, said his government was saddened by the violence (xenophobia) that occurred in Durban, and was engaged with South Africa to support the victims of the violence.
"The government wishes to assure the public that this incident should not discourage them from travelling to South Africa due to this unfortunate incident which is denting the otherwise good relations between South Africa and Malawi," Nkhoma said.
Mpilo Nkomo, IOM Head of Office in Malawi, assured that the organisation was engaged with both governments to facilitate the safe, orderly and voluntary return of the migrants affected by the violence.
According to recent reports from South Africa, the violence in Durban led to the displacement of about 300 Malawian nationals.