HomeLocal NewsZim faces refugee influx from Mozambique

Zim faces refugee influx from Mozambique

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PUBLIC Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Prisca Mupfumira, says Zimbabwe is bracing for an influx of Mozambican refugees following a fresh wave of political instability in the neighbouring country, where Renamo bandits have renewed their armed conflict against the Frelimo government.

BY MUNESU NYAKUDYA

Speaking to journalists in Harare last week, Mupfumira said by virtue of being part of the signatories to the Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, Zimbabwe was obliged to look after people, who seek asylum.

“Now, we have a situation in Mozambique, where there is some unrest and there have been an influx of refugees into Zimbabwe,” she said.

“We will have to receive and look after them and screen them to find out who are genuine refugees and who are not. We don’t just accept anybody as refugee.”

“We will not look after the criminals, but genuine refugees. Zimbabwe is part of the signatories to the Convention on Refugee Protocol, hence, we are obliged to look after genuine refugees, not the criminals and people who have left their countries for whatever reasons.”

Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees is a United Nations multilateral treaty that defines refugees, and sets out rights of those granted asylum, as well as responsibilities of countries that grant asylum.

Latest statistics from the Labour and Social Welfare ministry indicate that over 9 000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia and Ethiopia are housed at the Tongogara Refugee Camp in Manicaland province.

DRC refugees consist of about 75% of the population, as it is constantly facing tribally-ethnic insurgencies, while the other countries share the remaining 25%.

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