Tension as first Namibian refugees deported

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A total of 94 Namibian refugees were taken from the Francistown Centre for Illegal Immigrants (FCII) this morning bound for their home country, as government began the much-publicised deportation of about 1,000 Namibian refugees.

The 94 refugees were part of a group of 134 taken from the Dukwi Refugee Camp to FCII last week, as part of the deportation exercise. The group at FCII allegedly includes those seen as the ‘ringleaders’ of the refugees’ long running resistance campaign against forced repatriation back to the motherland. 

Initially about 3,000 refugees, including combatants, fled secessionist violence in Namibia’s Caprivi Strip in 1998 to settle at Dukwi. Many returned to Namibia, but the 1,000+ group has remained behind citing fear of persecution and even torture by Namibian authorities.  The group is also fighting against the recognition of its political party by Namibia. 

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