Botswana: Zimbabwean refugees repatriate voluntarily from Botswana

Gaborone, Botswana (PANA) - Zimbabwean refugees living in Botswana have started to apply for voluntary repatriation, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said here Wednesday.

UNCHR's Senior Regional External Relations Officer, Tina Ghelli, said at least 30 Zimbabwean refugees from Dukwi Refugee Camp, situated 160km northwest of Francistown, have benefited from voluntary repatriation.

Ghelli allayed reports of refugees being forced to go back to Zimbabwe. “UNHCR’s policy is assisting refugees to return home voluntarily, in safety and in dignity. We do not force refugees to return if they do not want to do so. Our mandate is to ensure that refugees are safe in all facets," he said.

According to Ghelli, there are 681 refugees and 48 asylum seekers in Botswana from Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean refugees flocked into Botswana in 2008 at the height of political tension between the regime of President Robert Mugabe and the opposition led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
-0- PANA DRW/AR 16Oct2015

28 october 2015 14:44:27

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