By Chisomo Phiri
The Ministry of Homeland Security in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has on Thursday repatriated 109 Burundian refugees from Dzaleka Refugee Camp through Kamuzu International Airport (KIA).
The repatriation follows negotiations between government, UNHCR and the Burundian government.
In an interview, Ministry of Homeland Security Spokesperson, Patrick Botha, said the repatriates were supposed to leave in September but failed due to logistical challenges.
“As government, we are hopeful that other refugees will borrow a leaf from their friends and understand that it is safe to go back home,” said Botha.
Durable Solutions Officer at UNHCR, Rehema Miiro, said about 400 Burundian nationals have registered for the next repatriation exercise.
“This is the second group after another group of 38 Burundians were sent home via Bunjumbura, the country’s capital.
“These are voluntary repatriations where the repatriated people initially expressed interest,” he said.
According to UNHCR currently, there are 400 Refugees who have expressed interest to be repatriated as soon as the opportunity comes.
The figures however, keep fluctuating as some individuals change their minds about the move.