Refugees and asylum seekers given timeframe to relocate to Dzaleka


Government has set 1 to 15 April 2023 as a fresh timeframe for refugees and asylum seekers living in urban and rural areas to go back to Dzaleka Refugees Camp.

The Minister of Homeland Security, Ken Zikhale Ng’oma yesterday issued a statement forcing all refugees residing in both rural and urban areas to relocate to Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa.

The minister has indicated that the notice is effective from April 1-15 2023, after which relocation will be enforced by officials from the Malawi Police Service and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services.

“This notice is effective from 1st April until 15th April, 2023, thereafter relocation process by the State will be enforced. Government reiterates that during the process of relocation only State Agencies such as the Malawi Police Service and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services as well as the Refugees and Asylum Seekers themselves should be involved. If any person or group of persons is found meddling in this process or harassing the refugees and asylum seekers in any way, Government will ensure that such individuals are met with the full arm of the law,” said Ng’oma.

The minister noted that Government of Malawi is obliged to protect Refugees and Asylum seekers in designated camps and it is in this respect that Dzaleka Refugees Camp was established with assistance from UNHCR where appropriate provisions and required international standards for a safe stay for all refugees and asylum seekers are provided.

“The said standard including but not limited to having the Katubzya Primary and Secondary School run by JRS, the Dzaleka Health Center run by the Ministry of Health and the Dzaleka Market under the Ministry of Local Government. All Refugees and Asylum Seekers are therefore expected to reside in this designated camp,” said Ng’oma.

This follows the previous notice that state Refugees and Asylum seekers residing in the Urban Areas should relocate to Dzaleka Refugee Camp by 1 February 2023.

And according to the statement released by the Minister this was ample time to allow all those affected to make all the necessary arrangements and settlements.

Ng’oma said Government appreciates the efforts of all those that have returned to the camp following the deadline set and calls upon those that have not done so to immediately adhere to the notice.

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