Mirece worry with grenade explosion at Dzaleka Refugee Camp


A human rights organization on good governance, the Millennium Information and Resource Centre [Mirece] says it has learnt with a great shock media reports that a grenade exploded inside the Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa injuring five Burundians and the attackers are Rwandans.
The Mirece says what has happened in the Dzaleka camp is a wake-up to the Government of Malawi and the UNHCR to find a long lasting solution to address insecurity concerns among refugees and asylum seekers and the hosts communities.
The organization says the grenade explosion has created not only fear amongst refugees and asylum seekers themselves but the host communities who have never and ever witnessed this before saying this is speaking for itself that the people of Dowa are not safe.
In a statement released signed by its Director Reverend Flywell Somanje, the Mirece says it is disappointed that the Government of Malawi and the UNHCR have neglected its call to address security threats in the Dzaleka Camp and the surrounding hosts communities,
Reverend Somanje says nobody knows how many grenades are being hidden and their next targets saying today, the grenade has injured five Burundians, the attackers are the Rwandans and tomorrow the attack will be directed towards the host communities and the Dowa people.
He says it is the duty of the Government of Malawi to see to it that its citizens are safe and not living under panic and fear as if they are refugees and asylum seekers themselves hence government must come in to address security concerns in as soon as yesterday.
The Reverend expressed fears that Malawi is hosting refugees and asylum seekers in Dowa district which is a stone-throw away to the Capital-Lilongwe and Kamuzu International Airport [KIA] saying this is posing security concerns for the country.
He lamented that the Dzaleka Camp was designed in 1994 to accommodate 10,000 refugees and asylum seekers from Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Somalia and Ethiopia saying now, the population has reached to over 60,000 a development which is worrisome to Dzaleka Police station to handle.
….’’There is over-population in the camp and some refugees and asylum seekers are still coming in using unchartered routes, security remains a challenge in the Camp as nobody knows where they are coming from and what protective weapons do they travel with them,’’…said Reverend Somanje.
He observed that there is environmental damage in Dowa district, Kongwe and Dowa forests reserves have all been depleted with trees used as poles for building houses and charcoal, and now they have switched to fighting for land for farming with the hosts communities.
Reverend Somanje recalled that at one time the Dowa people were up in celebrations hearing news that the Camp was being relocated to Katiri in Karonga but this was short lived the communities there refused to host them wondering why they are still in Dowa district till today.
He said what is very worrisome is that the UNHCR has constructed beautiful houses for refugees saying this is putting doubts that these people are not refugees at all but they came to Malawi to live , a development which has raised many questions than answers.

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