Did the UNHCR-Botswana fail Caprivian detainees?

Did the UNHCR-Botswana fail Caprivian detainees?

GABORONE – I would like to highlight some evasive tactics by the United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

I don’t understand why the UNHCR want clarification on how come Botswana deported the Caprivi refugees to a country where they feared persecution. From the outset, the office of the UNHCR knew of the plight of Caprivians detained in Botswana prison, but did nothing to help them.Communications were sent to the UNHCR (Gaborone) on numerous occasions seeking assistance, but to no avail.Instead, the UNHCR launched a number of false accusations against many of Caprivi’s asylum seekers, which led to handicapping their applications for refugee status.At some stage that we could not understand, the UNHCR has turned into a persecuting organ rather than a humanitarian one.The UNHCR distanced itself from the Caprivi refugees and called them criminals.They at no point visited the refugees in prison or helped them in any way – other than letting them rot in prison.Today we talk of the dead Kabo Mowa and Pitros Ngoshi in the Selibe-Phikwe State Prison.But, when the UNHCR’s liaison officer, Cosmos Chanda, visited Dukwe refugee camp – he easily assured and created a false sense of security for family members of the detainee-by saying rejected refugee claimants would be resettled to a third country.Delaying tactics and deceptions were the UNHCR-Gaborone’s tools that caused persecution.The hypocritical nature of the UNHCR-Gaborone can be picked up from the Botswana Centre for Human Rights that at one point confronted the UNHCR liaison officer about a number of accusations that were made about Caprivian refugee claimants by Cosmos Chanda.Its about time the UNHCR acknowledged its failure in helping the displaced refugees and to take responsibility rather than trying to find a scapegoat.Don’t blame Botswana or Namibia – who both gain from this UNHCR mess when it comes to national security and the enhancement of bilateral ties enjoyed by the two countries.The question about these allegations is “why”? A lesson to be learnt here is that “evil triumphs when good people sit and do nothing”.Joseph Mulife Muchali Namibian Refugee Montreal, CanadaFrom the outset, the office of the UNHCR knew of the plight of Caprivians detained in Botswana prison, but did nothing to help them.Communications were sent to the UNHCR (Gaborone) on numerous occasions seeking assistance, but to no avail.Instead, the UNHCR launched a number of false accusations against many of Caprivi’s asylum seekers, which led to handicapping their applications for refugee status.At some stage that we could not understand, the UNHCR has turned into a persecuting organ rather than a humanitarian one.The UNHCR distanced itself from the Caprivi refugees and called them criminals.They at no point visited the refugees in prison or helped them in any way – other than letting them rot in prison.Today we talk of the dead Kabo Mowa and Pitros Ngoshi in the Selibe-Phikwe State Prison.But, when the UNHCR’s liaison officer, Cosmos Chanda, visited Dukwe refugee camp – he easily assured and created a false sense of security for family members of the detainee-by saying rejected refugee claimants would be resettled to a third country.Delaying tactics and deceptions were the UNHCR-Gaborone’s tools that caused persecution.The hypocritical nature of the UNHCR-Gaborone can be picked up from the Botswana Centre for Human Rights that at one point confronted the UNHCR liaison officer about a number of accusations that were made about Caprivian refugee claimants by Cosmos Chanda.Its about time the UNHCR acknowledged its failure in helping the displaced refugees and to take responsibility rather than trying to find a scapegoat.Don’t blame Botswana or Namibia – who both gain from this UNHCR mess when it comes to national security and the enhancement of bilateral ties enjoyed by the two countries.The question about these allegations is “why”? A lesson to be learnt here is that “evil triumphs when good people sit and do nothing”.Joseph Mulife Muchali Namibian Refugee Montreal, Canada

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