Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Detained refugees to be repatriated after arrest

Central Police Station Commander, Assistant Superintendent Keoagile Tau says the Ugandan refugees who were arrested at UN High Commissioner for Refugees last week are awaiting repatriation back to Dukwi camp.

Tau said that they will be waiting for Department of Immigration to come and collect the refugees who are currently detained at Central Police Station cells.

He  said the refugees were arrested after they were declared  illegal immigrants by the  Department of Immigration after leaving Dukwi camp without permission.

He said that they are waiting for  the Department of Immigration to come and collect them for repatriation back to their camp where they were  contained.

 He said that the three refugees have not been charged with any offence but they were only arrested since they had left Dukwi camp where they were contained.  

The refugees have been protesting at UN agency for refugees for appalling conditions at the camp.

Ugandan refugees who were protesting at UN High Commissioner  for Refugees in Botswana were  arrested yesterday by  the police  following their protest over inadequate provision of food and clothing.  

Ugandan refugees who are housed at Dukwi refugee camp started their peaceful demonstration after UNHCR failed to address their grievances.

The three refugees claimed that despite the UNHCR failure to help them with food and clothing they even went to block their request to resettle in their country of choice where they will be able to work for themselves.

The three refugees alleged that the UNHCR was conniving with police in an attempt to arrest them.

Following their accusations that the police and UNHCR was closing up on them they were later arrested  on Tuesday.

 The refugees were fuming that since they have written a letter to UNHCR and Ministry of Defence Justice and Security over their  protest which they say was prompted by the UNHCR failure to address their concerns the UNHCR connived with police.

One of the refugee, Timothy Yamin says UNHCR  has failed to address the concern over food rations that is inadequate while they have not been provided with clothing for more than ten years.

He says that this has led to their women and girls trading their bodies to get basic necessities such as sanitary pads, food and clothes.

Yamin stated  they  had a peaceful demonstration where they sat in at UN building but if the UNHCR failed to help  and they went on a hunger strike.

He said that the approached the UNHCR seeking for resettlement in countries where they will be allowed to work.

In his rensponse , UNHCR  Senior Regional Office for Southern Africa, Tina Ghelli denied to have blocked the refugees to resettle to their countries of choice.  Ghelli said that usually the resettlement process takes time. However Ghelli advised Botswana to be reluctant on their policy which deny refugees to work in Botswana.


Read this week's paper