Botswana: Botswana to facilitate repatriation of refugees

Gaborone, Botswana (PANA) – Shaw Kgathi, Botswana's Defence, Justice and Security minister, on Thursday said Botswana would continue to facilitate the return of refugees to their respective countries as he applauded the voluntary decision by some refugee in the country to apply for repatriation.

“We believe, this is the most durable solution,” said Kgathi, adding that the repatriation was facilitated in collaboration with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

According to the minister, this year, eight Namibians and seven Zimbabweans had opted for voluntary repatriation.

Further, between January and February this year, 48 refugees originating from Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi were re-settled in Canada, Australia, Finland and the USA.

“This has built positiveness 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.

Botswana hosts about 3,000 refugees from 14 countries across Africa. The highest number of refugees are from Namibia with 919, Zimbabwe (688) and Somalia (316).

Meanwhile government is working on amending the Refugee (Recognition and Control) Act to improve the management of refugees, and to align it to other domestic and international statutes and obligations, balanced with emerging global security challenges.
-0- PANA DRW/MA 23March2017

23 march 2017 09:55:29

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