The Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services in Lilongwe has repatriated 19 Ethiopian nationals who were nabbed for contravening Malawi’s immigration laws.
According to Inspector Pasqually Zulu who is the central region publicist for the department, these 19 Ethiopian nationals left Malawi on Tuesday August 16th, 2022 through the Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe.
Zulu told this publication that this is the third phase of the repatriation exercise of all Ethiopian nationals who were being held in various prison formations in the country over various immigration offenses.
The publicist indicated that the total number expected to be repatriated was 58, however, due to other technical challenges, only 19 have been sent back home.
He further said the challenges included an error that was made during travel document processing and also said other irregular immigrants are still serving their custodial sentences.
Zulu added that efforts are at advanced stage to fast-track document processing on the errors that were made, and said the department is also engaging key stakeholders to facilitate early release by taking advantage of the repartition exercise.
According to Inspector Zulu, this is a joint repatriation initiative by Malawi and Ethiopian governments with financial assistance from International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
He further indicated that the initiative was organized earlier this year as a way to decongest Malawi prison facilities to enhance economic development in the wake of covid-19 pandemic that has hit the global.
Meanwhile, the Department continues to appeal to the general public to refrain from aiding and abetting irregular migrants saying it pose a threat to national security and social economic development of the country.
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