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Government says, Operation To Remove Burundians to continue

Lilongwe May 21: Ministry of Homeland security has assured Malawians that ‘’Operation mchotsa ma Burundi’’ exercise which started with Lilongwe will continue with other districts and has requested people to remain calm as Government security agencies continue with the exercise.

The Ministry says it is aware that some Malawians are harboring illegal immigrants and shielding them from law enforcers, saying the practice is an interference with the law, warning that any individual found meddling with the process will be brought to book.

The sentiments are contained in a statement where government is giving an update on the relocation exercise of refugees and asylum seekers dated 19th May, 2023 and signed by Oliver Kumbambe, Secretary for Homeland and Security.

According to the Statement, on Tuesday, the Malawi Police and Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services wound up 408 people in order to screen their documentation.

The Ministry says of the 408 that were temporarily kept at Maula Prison in Lilongwe, 152 who had valid refugee and asylum seekers documentation have been returned to Dzaleka Camp and seven individuals that had valid permits have also been released.

The statement has thanked the general public for keeping calm and for the support rendered during the enforcement of relocation of refugees and asylum seekers, encouraging all refugees and asylum seekers still living out of Dzaleka Refugee Camp to return to camp voluntarily.

Minister responsible Dr. Ken Zikhale Ng’oma has assured United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) that the Government of Malawi will not retreat or surrender in its decision made to relocate all refugees and asylum seekers to Dzaleka Refugee Camp.

He expressed fears that bowing down to the UNHCR demands of allowing refugees and asylum seekers to go back to their communities, some other ill-minded people would take the law into their hands.

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