The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has raised concerns after Botswana deported 57 Zimbabwean refugees who had lived in the country since 2008. The refugees reportedly failed to register for voluntary repatriation, which led to their forced removal late last week.
UNHCR’s external relations officer Kate Pond, says the refugees, irrespective of their status, have rights and could have been allowed to remain as permanent residents.
The UNHCR says it will continue to assist refugees who were repatriated. Each person received $520 and a food package. But the agency says there will be no such assistance for the deported refugees.