As one way of decongesting the country’s prisons, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services with assistance from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), has today commenced repatriation of 281 irregular Ethiopian migrants.
Confirming the development to Malawi24 was the department’s publicist for the central region Inspector Pasqually Zulu, who said these are Ethiopian nationals who were being kept in various prison facility in Malawi after violating the country’s immigration laws.
Inspector Zulu said the long awaited repatriation excise was supposed to be done two months ago but was delayed due to other logistical challenges which included; air tickets purchase, processing of travel documents and other medical tests.
He then indicated that the development is a huge relief to the Government of Malawi as it will reduce the numbers of people in prisons whilst at the same time it will create a step towards enhancement of social economic development of the country.
Zulu clarified that the first cohort comprises 112 Ethiopians and of this population, 54 Ethiopians will depart on Wednesday August 10th, while the remaining 58 Ethiopians will depart on Thursday August 11th through Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe
It is reported that of another batch comprising of 169 Ethiopians who are being held at Karonga Transit Shelter is scheduled to be repatriated out of Malawi this coming Tuesday August 16th, 2022.
According to Inspector Zulu, the repatriation excise is still on going, arguing that over 350 Ethiopian nationals are being kept at various prison facilities, as the country is still being used as a transit route for irregular migrants on their way to South Africa.
The department has since complained that issues of aiding and abetting of irregular migrants by some Malawians, still remain a challenge and has warned that the department will deal with all the perpetrators of the vice.
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