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Malawi Govt’s second refugee repatriation exercise September 15

Ken Zikhale Ng’oma (3rd from right) pose with government and UNHCR Officials

Minister of Homeland Security Kenneth Zikhale Ng’oma has announced the second cohort for voluntary repatriation of refugees, with about 117 refugees to be repatriated on the 15th of September, 2023.

The announcement follows the repatriation of other 38 Rwandan refugees in June this year.

Speaking on Thursday after meeting officials from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Ng’oma said his ministry is working with UN agency which also will provide funds and other related assistance for the exercise.

Ng’oma further expressed optimism that the figures for refugees to be repatriated voluntarily will continue to grow considering that more refugees are interested to go back to their countries.

The Homeland Security Minister disclosed that his ministry has notified their home countries about the arrangement and delay to facilitate the repatriation has occurred due to financial constraints.

“Am so proud that now people are able to understand the importance of rules and regulations of a particular country because a refugee is someone who comes in one’s country due to problems. In fact it is a good thing because these people will integrate with their relatives in their respective countries and start a normal life,” Ng’oma explained.

Meanwhile, UNHCR has committed 80 million USD for the establishment of the new refugee camp at Kayilizi in Senior Chief Mwenewenya in Chitipa district and 50,000 US dollars towards review of the Refugees Act of 1989.

In a related development, Government also plans to auction containers confiscated during relocation exercise of refugees in the past months.

Ministry of Homeland Security has planned to put on auction the containers should the owners fail to avail and bring relevant documents permitting them to do business in the country.

The Ministry in conjunction with the Malawi Police service expect to open 125 containers on 28th August, 2023 which were confiscated during the relocation exercise of refugees from different locations to Dzaleka camp in Dowa district.

Again, Minister of Homeland Security Kenneth Zikhale Ng’oma has stated that the money realised from the auction of the containers will go back to the government account where it will be used for development activities.

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