Govt has failed the refugee community – CSOs

Dzaleka refugee camp

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) say the government has failed the refugee community by forcing the refugees and asylum seekers to relocate to camps, a situation that violated human rights and showed a lack of accountability.

A year has elapsed since the refugees and asylum seekers were moved to the Dzaleka camp on 27 March 2023 following a directive issued by the government through the Minister of Homeland Security, Ken Zikhale Ng’oma.

The CSOs, namely Youth and Society ( YAS), INUA Advocacy, and Civil Society Coalition on Migration (CCM) among others, conducted a press briefing in Lilongwe on Monday.

YAS Executive Director, Charles Kajoloweka, said that the suffering that was endured by the refugees and asylum seekers in Malawi is a reminder of the CSOs’ collective responsibility to protect the most vulnerable.

Charles Kajoloweka
Women and children faced harrowing acts of violence such as rape – Kajoloweka.

Kajoloweka added that it is sad that the government made an allegation that containers belonging to foreign nationals contained booms and guns that posed a threat to the country’s security, but up to now, no information or evidence showed that the containers indeed had such equipment.

“The government failed to make a public report regarding the allegations. Apart from that, the refugees and asylum seekers, including women and children, faced harrowing acts of violence such as rape, arbitrary detention, destruction and theft of property.

“Families were torn apart, livelihoods were obliterated. The trauma and loss endured by these individuals are a reminder of the urgent need for justice and reform,” he explained

He then demanded for an independent investigation from Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) focusing on human rights violations during the relocation exercise.

He also asked the Malawi Police Service to arrest and prosecute Police Officers and civilians involved in the prosecution of refugees and the theft of their property.

The CSOs further called for humanitarian support to the permanent resident refugees in Dzaleka Refugee Camp and considered providing temporary permits for those without a criminal history to return to their previous locations and support themselves.

2,296 refugees and asylum seekers were moved to the Dzaleka Camp which currently holds about 53,000 refugees despite its initial capacity of 12,000. The refugees receive K9,000 every month to cater for their needs.


One Comment

  1. CSO stop misleading us for your benefit please watch your mouth

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