Current track



Former Namibian refugees demand resettlement and rehabilitation

Written by on April 23, 2024

Former Namibian refugees who were repatriated in 1989 under United Nations Resolution 435 of 1978 are demanding to be resettled and rehabilitated after 34 years of independence, says Former Refugees Repatriation Association Namibia member Julias Nkuve.Nkuve said this yesterday while handing over a petition at the United Nations head office in Windhoek.

“According to the United Nations, there were three programmes for the Namibian refugees who were repatriated in 1989 in terms of Resolution 435 of 1978, namely repatriation, resettlement and rehabilitation,” Nkuve said. According to Nkuve, the programmes of resettlement and rehabilitation were never implemented in Namibia upon their arrival.

“We were neither resettled nor rehabilitated by the United Nations, neither integrated in the society or in the mainstream of the economy,” he added.

Furthermore, the organisation noted that all three programmes were budgeted for, and question what the funds for the other two programmes were utilised for and why they were never implemented like in other countries.

“Under normal circumstances, the United Nations should appoint someone to implement, monitor and evaluate the programmes of repatriation, resettlement and rehabilitation. If so, what does the report say about the resettlement and rehabilitation in Namibia?”

The group is demanding that the budgeted funds for rehabilitation and resettlement should be given to them to complete what the United Nations has failed to implement.

“Our children, born and raised during the liberation struggle, are now fully grown men and women hence they must be given their money,” Nkuve said.

Additionally, he questioned whether the R10 they received upon their arrival in the country was sufficient to resettle them.

Many refugees spent most of their youth in exile during the liberation struggle, without formal or proper education, and they did not work for a long period before they retired. One of the refugees who spoke on condition of anonymity, said their lives were better off in Angola, and since they were repatriated they have been suffering with no formal jobs. “Look at all these people, they arrived as small children, now they are grown men and women with no places of their own, nor jobs, most of them live in these tents that you see at the Katutura Multi-Purpose Youth Centre,” she said.

Furthermore, she said no one can see them at the youth centre and it is as if they are hidden from the general public. She added that maybe they should move to a more central area where people can see them and be in a better position to see what they are going through.

“Most of them mostly do not have food to eat, I bring them a packet of Top Score when I can because I was able to find a place to call home with the little I have, but when I don’t, how do they survive?”

The petition was addressed to United Nations resident coordinator to Namibia Hopolang Phororo, who was not there to receive it. However, it was received by Lucia Stephanus on her behalf.

“The petition is well received,” Stephanus said.

The post Former Namibian refugees demand resettlement and rehabilitation appeared first on The Namibian.

Current track