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Court blocks Caprivi refugees deportation, orders detainees' release

MPHO MOKWAPE
Caprivi refugees
The Botswana government has been interdicted from deporting Caprivian refugees to their native land. Lobatse High Court judge, Godfrey Nthomiwa on Wednesday ordered that the government should not deport 709 refugees who refused to sign for voluntary repatriation.

He ordered that pending a review application to be lodged by the refugees, no one should deport the refugees to Namibia/Caprivi strip. “The respondents, or anyone purporting to act on their behalf are hereby interdicted from deporting the applicants,” he said. 

The deadline for the repatriation was on July 11, 2018 of which those who did not sign to be repatriated were threatened with deportation as per the Immigration Act.

The judge also ordered that

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the Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs released refugees detained at the Francistown Centre for Illegal Immigrant and transport them back to Dukwi refugees’ camp.

The refugees, amongst them Felix Kakula, who led another court case in 2015, were detained at SADC offices when they  sought audience in relation to the repatriation process.

Furthermore, the judge said the refugees should not be repatriated until their reasons for fleeing no longer exist.



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