All the 12 (10 men and 2 women) Caprivi Strip refugees who have been detained at the Francistown Centre for Illegal Immigrants have been released and transported back to the Dukwi Refugee Camp.
The group led by their spokesperson inside the camp was arrested on 19th June at SADC Headquarters in Gaborone where they had gone to hand a petition to the SADC Secretariat.
Following the Wednesday 25th July court order by Justice Godfrey Nthomiwa, government was backed into a corner as Nthomiwa ordered that pending a review application to be lodged by the refugees, no one should deport the refugees to Namibia/Caprivi strip.
In an interview with The Voice about the state’s next move, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defense, Justice and Security, Dimpho Mogami, says they can’t do anything.
“We have complied with the court order and currently our legal team is awaiting the judgement and then they’ll advise the state accordingly,” she said.
The Botswana government is of the view that the refugee status of all Namibian refugees ceased on the 31st December 2015 when the country invoked a cessation clause in line with Article 1 of the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
On the other hand the defiant group in Dukwi wants the Namibian government to recognize the United Democratic Party (UDP), led by their exiled leader Mishake Muyongo as a political party.
They demand to be welcomed back as UDP members, an undertaking that Botswana government nor SADC wants to be a part of.