Human Rights

Malawi’s Dzaleka Refugee Camp registers first Somalian to volunteer to return to his country

Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa district in Malawi has registered the first Somalian national who has volunteered to return to his country. All along, they have been Burundians and Rwanda who have been flying back to their countries.

Thirty-year-old Ali Abdi Noor left the country Malawi through the Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, and was escorted by senior officials from the department and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

This is the sixth convoy, a development Senior Administrative and Operations Manager, Hilda Katema-Kausiwa, described as a big success in ensuring that refugees and asylum seekers who volunteer to return to their native country are given all the necessary support.

Katema-Kausiwa: This is the first refugee from a country none other than Burundi and Rwanda to volunteer to return to his country--Photo by Watipaso Mzungu
Katema-Kausiwa: This is the first refugee from a country none other than Burundi and Rwanda to volunteer to return to his country–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu

Katema-Kausiwa indicated that there is growing support for the program from the refugee community.

“We’re particularly happy that we have, for the first time, repatriated a refugee from another country other than the usual Burundi and Rwanda. We’re very happy as government, together with UNHCR, that the Government of Somalia was willing to receive him, and that now we have this arrangement where when more applicants come forward, we will be able to freely repatriate them back and they will be received with dignity,” she said.

Katema-Kausiwa disclosed that the department, in collaboration with its partners, is advocating for resettlement, voluntary repatriation and local integration as solutions to the management of the refugees and asylum seekers.

She said in this regard, the partners have been raising awareness among the refugee community and orienting them about the need for them to return to their native country, stressing that this is the most durable solution.

“The department is open to welcome as many refugees to come and apply for voluntary repatriation and we will work hand in hand with UNHCR to ensure there are resources for repatriating them to their countries,” said Katema-Kausiwa.

Speaking earlier, Noor thanked the Department of Refugees and UNHCR for ensuring that his rights are not violated while he lived in the camp as well as according him a decent flight back to Somalia.

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