Botswana urges refugees to consider integration with local communities

  • World
  • Friday, 21 Jun 2024

GABORONE, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Botswana on Thursday pleaded with refugees residing at Dukwi Refugee Camp, some 550 km northeast of Gaborone, Botswana's capital, to consider integration with local communities.

"Last year, I urged refugees to consider local integration as a durable option, but I regret that very low numbers of applications have been received," said Machana Ronald Shamukuni, Botswanan minister of justice, at the commemoration of the World Refugee Day, which fell on Thursday.

Local integration will give refugees an opportunity to apply for land and settle anywhere they wish in the southern African country, as they would have acquired Botswana citizenship, he said.

Botswana, with an estimated population of 2.3 million people according to the 2022 Population and Housing Census, looks set to add a few more numbers by integrating the refugees into the local communities, said the minister.

Dukwi Refugee Camp was established in 1978. It is estimated that there are about 800 refugees residing at the camp. Some of the refugees are from Somalia, Rwanda, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Eritrea, among others.

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