Botswana: Repatriation for Zimbabwe Refugees Starts

(File photo).

Dukwi — Only 113 Zimbabwean refugees at Dukwi Refugee Camp have registered for voluntary repatriation as of March 2.

Dukwi refugee camp manager Mr Moses Mochabo told BOPA in an interview that the latest developments follow a meeting with the refugees, which was addressed by the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security together with Zimbabwean government representative and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) a fortnight ago.

He said it was at that meeting that the Zimbabwean refugees were urged to register for voluntary repatriation.

He explained that although their database indicated that they had 242 Zimbabweans in the camp, about 129 were still yet to register or they intended to wait to be deported through the immigrations laws, looking at the current number of those registered.

Mr Mochabo added that the process of repatriation was to start on Friday, but due to transport challenges, it had been moved to March 8.

He further noted that those who had registered were to undergo a rapid COVID-19 test, which would give green light to those cleared to go back to their motherland.

The process, the camp manager said, would be done on the eve of the journey.

Furthermore, he said they were anticipating to have at least three trips scheduled for March 10, 12 and 15, looking at the number that had registered.

He explained that for those who had not registered for voluntary repatriation, the immigration officer would be available to process their deportation.

He said they had started going through the database to single out those who had registered so that they could easily track those that did not act on the proposal given to them by the government of Botswana in partnership with their government as well as UNHCR.

Source : BOPA

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