May 18, 2021

Government Not Tolerates Violence Against Refugees

The Government of Malawi says it will not tolerate any act of violence against the country’s brothers and sisters who have already shown interest to return to the Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa within the stipulated period of fourteen [14] days from the date of their notification.

The Ministry of Homeland and Security is therefore warning Malawians that nobody should attempt to take the law in his or her own hands by robbing the refugees and asylum seekers or causing any violence against them as they are returning to the Camp.

The Ministry is appealing to Malawians and the general public that they should remain calm and peaceful as refugees and asylum seekers who are residing in their respective locations are peacefully returning to the Camp.

In the statement of clarification on the ultimatum for refugees return to Dzaleka Camp dated 11th April, 2021 signed by Patricia Liabuba for the Secretary for Homeland and Security, says the Ministry issued a notice on 1st April, 2021 to inform all refugees who are doing their businesses in various rural communities to return to the Camp within fourteen [14] days.

The Ministry says the decision is in line with the Encampment Policy which entails that refugees and asylum seekers should be in their designated Camp and those plying their business should do so while in the camp.

………’’All the processes to ensure that they are safely return to their designated camp are going on well, the Malawi Police Service [MPS], Department of Immigration and Department of Refugees are currently sensitizing the refugees and asylum seekers on the matter,’’……reads the statement in part.

Meanwhile, a governance and human rights organization, Millennium Information and Resource Centre [MIRECE] , a whistle-blower seeking clarification of information from the UNHCR of Dzaleka camp in Dowa, has added its voice siding with Government in warning Malawians against robbing the refugees taking advantage of their return to Dzaleka camp.

Its Director, Reverend Flywell Somanje, is reminding Malawians that many Malawians have either married or getting married to these refugees and asylum seekers saying these are Malawians and they need to be treated with love as their brothers and sisters.

Dzaleka refugee camp in Dowa

……..’’We are warning all those that have ill-intentions against the refugees and asylum seekers as they are peacefully returning to Dzaleka that they will be doing that against the will of Malawians and they are  enemies of progress,’’……says Rev. Somanje.He says Malawians have all along the years been described as the peace-loving people and this has made the country to be the warm heart of Africa urging Malawians of goodwill not to allow the good history Malawi has towards receiving visitors be destroyed by the perpetrators of violence against the refugees.

By Vincent Gunde

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