Thursday, July 18, 2024

Malawi-UNHCR Collaboration Repatriates 77 Burundian Refugees

Burundians heading home

Ken Zikhale Ng’oma, heading the Ministry of Homeland Security, has collaborated with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to oversee the repatriation of 77 Burundian refugees from Dzaleka Camp.

This group, constituting the third cohort of refugees departing Malawi through the voluntary repatriation initiative, departed via Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) at 2:25 am on Sunday. Under this initiative, refugees willingly apply for repatriation.

Hilda Kausiwa, Senior Administrator in the Department of Refugees within the Ministry of Homeland Security, highlighted the significance of voluntary repatriation as one of the enduring solutions currently being implemented by the government in an interview conducted during the repatriation event.

“Noting that the situation in most of the countries of origin for the refugees that we host has changed, we are encouraging those who feel that it is safe for them, to go back home. As government, we are facilitating this,” she said.

She said they verified with Burundi before the repatriation and got assured of safety in that country.

According to Kausiwa, Ministry of Homeland Security has pending applications from refugees from countries such as Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and once resources are available, they too would be repatriated.

One of the repatriated refugees, Niyera Evelyn who has stayed in Malawi for 14 years, was excited to go back to her original home and encouraged other refugees to take her path. A total of 224 Burundi nationals have so far been repatriated.


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