United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) in Botswana and the Botswana government this week gathered at Dukwi to bid farewell to Angolans who have been refuges in the country for over four decades.
At least 501 Angolan refugees will be retracing their steps to their motherland at the end of this month, following the cessation of refugee status for all Angolans worldwide.
“Botswana is pleased to join the rest of the international community in celebrating the advent of a permanent solution for the Angolan refugees who fled their country of origin more than forty years ago”, said the Director in the Ministry Of Defence Justice And Security, Ross Sanoto.
Marking World Refugee Day Sanoto noted that government was working tirelessly with the UNHCR to find a long lasting solutions to the refugee caseload in the country.
She said, Somalis who form a significant part of the refugees at Dukwi camp have been given another lease of life as they will resettle in Europe and United States of America.
“The cessation of hostilities and civil strife in the SADC region has given rise to the hope that durable solutions to refugees’ problems will be found”, continued Sanoto.
Botswana’s history of hosting displaced people dated back to 1970s.
Currently the country hosts over 3 500 refugees from 13 African countries, which include Algeria, Angola, Burundi Democratic republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia. Kenya. Namibia. Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
In an endeavour to endure the basic needs of refugees in the country are met, government in partnership with its other stakeholders have put in place several interventions, such as a full ARV clinic at Dukwi camp, 400 gardens with reticulated water to ensure sufficient food production, construction of 100 housing units to augment the existing 800 houses and the red cross through funding from the American embassy will put up latrines and litter bins to improve sanitation at Dukwi camp.