An activist advocating for Refugee rights Innocent Magambi has faulted the timing for the relocation exercise for refugees and asylum seekers noting that some children will be affected by the exercise since their parents have been picked up in the morning while the children were in school.
Commenting on the development, National Police Spokesperson, Peter Kalaya said they already planned for the exercise and no refugee or asylum seeker will be abused as they will carry out the operation professionally.
The Malawi Police and Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services say they have so far picked over 360 refugees and asylum seekers from different locations in Lilongwe by Wednesday afternoon. The two departments are expected to further carry out the operation in other cities and districts in the coming days.
The Government of Malawi gave an ultimatum to refugees and asylum seekers in rural areas to relocate to Dzaleka by 30 November 2022 while refugees in urban centres were advised to relocate by 1 February 2023 and then set final dates from 1 — 15 April 2023.