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Malawian Government Faces Accusations of Misrepresenting Refugee Relocation as Rule of Law Violations Emerge

INUA Advocacy, a staunch advocate for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, has strongly criticized a Malawi Government delegation for allegedly distorting the truth during the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ 77th Ordinary Session in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The delegation, led by Principal State Advocate Duncan Zikagwa, asserted that the recent relocation exercise of refugees and asylum seekers in Malawi was conducted in accordance with the rule of law.

Presenting on behalf of the Malawi Government regarding the status of human rights, Zikagwa informed the Commission’s Chairperson, Commissioners, and delegates that the government remains committed to protecting refugees and asylum seekers at designated sites. 

The delegation claimed that the recent relocation exercise to Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa district was carried out in full compliance with the law.

However, INUA Advocacy contends that the Malawi Government’s statement is at odds with the actual situation on the ground. 

In a press release dated October 26, 2023, INUA Advocacy expressed deep concern and disappointment, asserting that the relocation exercise was marred by systematic violations of refugees and asylum seekers’ rights.

Contrary to the government’s claims, INUA Advocacy alleges that the relocation process involved serious violations, including the rape of women, loss of property, unlawful detention of children and women, forced and unlawful deportations, extortion, xenophobic narratives by authorities, corruption, and robberies targeting refugees and asylum seekers.

INUA Advocacy also pointed out the overcrowding of the Dzaleka Refugee Camp, which currently houses 52,272 refugees, far exceeding its initial capacity of 12,000 when established in 1994. 

The organization emphasized the urgent need for attention to the refugee situation in Malawi.

Furthermore, INUA Advocacy called on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to conduct an independent investigation into the human rights situation in Malawi.

The organization urged the Commission to hold those responsible for human rights violations against refugees and asylum seekers accountable.

INUA Advocacy underscored the importance of transparency and accountability, emphasizing that misrepresenting facts not only impedes progress but also perpetuates injustice.

The accusations against the Malawi Government’s delegation raise concerns about the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers and the necessity of upholding their rights in accordance with international standards.

This story has been adopted from Malawi24.

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