Kgathi orders Namibian refugees to leave

Kgathi
Kgathi

The Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Shaw Kgathi has reiterated that the government will not change its December 31, 2015 deadline for Namibian refugees to be repatriated.

  • If they do not leave they will become illegal immigrants sant demands.

In an interview yesterday, Kgathi said that the refugees would be asked to leave the country that has hosted them for 17 years come this December.

“They came here under the refugee status claiming political instability, and that was in 1999.  Things have since changed,” said Kgathi.

He said that the delegation left for Namibia early this week on a familiarisation mission after the Botswana government and the United Nations (UN) gave the green light for them to return to their native country. 


Kgathi further explained that, “The troop left for Namibia.  The Botswana government facilitated their travel.  I have not been formally told what happened, but as things stand their status in the country was that they are refugees because of the said political instability in their country”.

The minister added, “If they do not voluntarily leave the country by December 31, their status will change to illegal immigrant and we will hand them to the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs”.

Yesterday, the Namibian media reported that the 13 refugees who arrived in Zambezi early this week were ordered to leave Namibia after some of them were engaged in political mobilisation for the United Democratic Party (UDP).

“Following a government directive on September 2006 to forbid all the party’s meetings in Namibia, the UDP is effectively banned.  The UDP is led by exiled political outcast Mishake Muyongo and seeks to impose a secessionist ideologue on the residents of Zambezi.

Because of what turned out to be political mobilisation by the 13 Namibian refugees from Dukwi refugee camp in Botswana, who were on a familiarisation visit in Namibia, Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu decided to cancel a planned meeting with the group.”

“According to Sampofu, Namibia is governed according to a constitution that does not allow secessionism. He noted that the country is interested in peace and that activities aimed at causing instability such as secessionism and UDP party ideologies would not be tolerated.  We are not going to allow anyone to advocate or mobilise for the UDP or cause instability in Namibia,” it was reported.

More than 3,000 people fled Namibia to Botswana in 1999 in the wake of the failed attempt to secede the then Caprivi from the rest of the country.  An estimated 900 Namibians are living at the Dukwi refugee camp.

Should they not leave this country they would be detained as illegal immigrants.

His statement follows reports that the 13 refugees from Dukwi, who had travelled to Namibia for repatriation, were chased out of the country after making unpleasant demands.

In an interview yesterday, Kgathi said that the refugees would be asked to leave the country that has hosted them for 17 years come this December.

“They came here under the refugee status claiming political instability, and that was in 1999.  Things have since changed,” said Kgathi.

He said that the delegation left for Namibia early this week on a familiarisation mission after the Botswana government and the United Nations (UN) gave the green light for them to return to their native country. 

Kgathi further explained that, “The troop left for Namibia.  The Botswana government facilitated their travel.  I have not been formally told what happened, but as things stand their status in the country was that they are refugees because of the said political instability in their country”.

The minister added, “If they do not voluntarily leave the country by December 31, their status will change to illegal immigrant and we will hand them to the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs”.

Yesterday, the Namibian media reported that the 13 refugees who arrived in Zambezi early this week were ordered to leave Namibia after some of them were engaged in political mobilisation for the United Democratic Party (UDP).

“Following a government directive on September 2006 to forbid all the party’s meetings in Namibia, the UDP is effectively banned.  The UDP is led by exiled political outcast Mishake Muyongo and seeks to impose a secessionist ideologue on the residents of Zambezi.

Because of what turned out to be political mobilisation by the 13 Namibian refugees from Dukwi refugee camp in Botswana, who were on a familiarisation visit in Namibia, Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu decided to cancel a planned meeting with the group.”

“According to Sampofu, Namibia is governed according to a constitution that does not allow secessionism. He noted that the country is interested in peace and that activities aimed at causing instability such as secessionism and UDP party ideologies would not be tolerated.  We are not going to allow anyone to advocate or mobilise for the UDP or cause instability in Namibia,” it was reported.

More than 3,000 people fled Namibia to Botswana in 1999 in the wake of the failed attempt to secede the then Caprivi from the rest of the country.  An estimated 900 Namibians are living at the Dukwi refugee camp.

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