Homeland Security Ministry, UNHCR repatriate 77 Burundian refugees from Dzaleka camp

By Senior Reporter

Ministry of Homeland Security in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has repatriated 77 Burundian refugees from the Dzaleka camp.

The 77, which is the third cohort of Burundian refugees to leave Malawi under the voluntary repatriation initiative, in which the refugees voluntarily apply to be repatriated, left Malawi through Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) today at exactly 2:25 hours.

Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of the repatriation, Senior Administrator in the Department of Refugees under the Ministry of Homeland Security, Hilda Kausiwa described voluntary repatriation as one of the most durable solutions that the government is enforcing now.

“Noting that the situation in most of the countries of origin for the refugees that we host in the country has changed, we are encouraging refugees who feel that it is safe for them, to go back home, and we are facilitating this as government,” she said, adding they verified with Burundi before the repatriation and got assured of safety in the country.

Kausiwa said the Ministry of Homeland Security has pending applications from refugees from countries such as Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and once resources are available, they too will get repatriated.

One of the repatriated refugees, Niyera Evelyn who has stayed in Malawi for 14 years said she was excited to go back to his original home.

She encouraged other refugees to take her path.

With the repatriation of 77, a total of 224 Burundian nationals have so far been repatriated, 38 were repatriated in July 2023 and 109 were repatriated in October 2023.