Six Nam Refugees Return Home

ONLY six out of 17 expected Namibian refugees returned home from Botswana on Thursday.

“It seems 11 refugees changed their minds in the process,” Namibia’s Commissioner for Refugees, Nkrumah Mushelenga told Nampa immediately after a ceremony to welcome the refugees at the Ngoma border post in the Zambezi Region.

A similar decrease in returning refugees was experienced last year when 16 were expected, but only six arrived.

“These negative trends deserve serious analysis and consideration,” charged Mushelenga.

The six Namibian refugees, four men and two women, were received by Namibian government officials, including Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu and their family members at the Ngoma border post.

They were brought into Namibia by Botswana government officials with their belongings such as motor-vehicles and household items.

Upon arrival, family members ululated and cried as they hugged their loved ones.

“God is great. I believe in God. Everything has its time. Everything happens for a reason,” said returnee Hilda Sizimbo, adding that she was homesick.

She is a teacher by profession.

“I was teaching and living a normal life there. I can say Botswana is a country to live in, but what I can also tell you is that home is home,” added an emotional Sizimbo.

Three of the returnees are Sizimbo’s children.

She commended the government of Botswana for the hospitality they received during their stay.

The returnees were registered to allow them to receive education, health services and national documents such as birth certificates before they were escorted to their respective constituencies for reintegration purposes.

Mushelenga called upon the returnees to make themselves comfortable in the land of their birth.

“Your country is yearning for your skills and experiences, your innovations and creativeness to add value to socio-economic development for the benefit of the people of this country in particular, and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region in general,” he noted.

Mushelenga then encouraged the more than 900 Namibians remaining in the Dukwi refugee camp in Botswana to take full aantag of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees’ (UNCHR)-supervised voluntary repatriation processes.

He said it is the most transparent, accountable and durable solution to avoiding the unsustainable, protracted refugee situation. – Nampa

Source : The Namibian

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