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Arrested for speaking out

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Arrested for speaking out
DEFIANT: Nondo

*Refugees demand resettlement by staging a sit in

* Police nab father & children outside UNHCR offices

A protesting Congolese refugee seeking resettlement to a third country was arrested outside United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) offices on Wednesday night.

In desperation, Samuel Byamungu Nondo, 45, had staged a sit in at the UNCR Gaborone premises when police pounced on him.

Before the arrest, Nondo, who arrived from Dukwi refugee camp with his seven children had planned to remain at the UNHCR premises until his plea for resettlement was answered.

In an interview on Wednesday afternoon before he was carted off in a police van he said, “I do not know how long it will take, but I have no plans of going back to Dukwi. I have been living in that refugee camp for over 17 years now and the resettlement opportunity is the only ticket for me to live a normal life since Botswana has refused to officially grant me local integration and on the other side, there is no sign that the DRC conflict will end any time soon.”

Nondo arrived in Botswana in 2001 fleeing civil unrest in East DRC.

He had resorted to coercing UNHRC management into resettling him when he heard that the organisation would relocate to the neighbouring South Africa in January 2019.

“Since 2012, UNHCR has helped resettle over 80 families that have not only found me on resettlement programme queue, but have also stayed in Dukwi refugee camp for less than 4 years ignoring my 17 years long wait. Right now 30 families are being interviewed for resettlement and my family has not been included in the list yet again and I am worried because the UNHCR management is relocating to South Africa next year,” Nondo stated.

He was part of the 60 families that were recommended for resettlement in 2012 by UNHCR. However Nondo was mysteriously omitted when names were submitted to countries offering asylum, which included Australia, Canada, Sweden and United States of America.

This misfortune however turned out to be a blessing in disguise because in 2015, the two children he had left in DRC when he fled the troubled country arrived in Botswana in search of him.

Bruised and hungry, the children who were in the company of their four orphaned cousins reunited with their father at the refugee camp.

“I was 16 then and we escaped from DRC after me and my sister were kidnapped by militants. I had to find a way to find our father, so I took my sibling and my cousins; the youngest was nine and embarked on the long journey to Botswana. We had heard a rumour that he could be in Botswana, so we came here,” Nondo’s eldest son, said.

The traumatised now 20-year -old still lives in fear after losing his mother, aunt and an uncle to the DRC violance.

“After my mom was killed during an attack by rebels at home, our aunt took us in. However she was also killed in town during another attack by rebels. We then moved in with our uncle but even in his area there was no peace, and my uncle was killed during a conflict over cattle so I remained working in the farms to care for the younger children until I decided to find dad,” explained the young man.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Shocking and unacceptable the ILLTREATMENT OF REFUGEES STILL GOING ON
    Who was responsible for OMITTING the refugees Name there needs to be clarification if the person knows what they are doing
    The article should have read REFUGEE ARRESTED FOR SPEAKING OUT or is the media afraid this is the SECOND INCIDENT. SOmeone must have phoned the Police . Amnesty International needs to be informed.

  2. This Refugee Camp should be relocated to a welcoming Country
    To have a Refugee Camp in an Unwelcoming country is not acceptable and not healthy for the refugees . Whoever is responsible should have made sure that the person is re-located as quickly as possible. The day this place turns upside down and people will need to seek refuge people will say ” do you remember when you iltreated me”?

  3. Bone of contention is the refugee is fleeing violence and is ILLTREATED and the Leader of this Country he is fleeing is being accorded red carpet treatment like many others of the same character – VIP TREATMENT ALL THE WAY by SADC

  4. It could be either the police are not educated or the person who called the police are Not Professionals in their work.
    This is the SECOND INCIDENT IN A SHORT SPACE OF TIME OF THE ILLTREATEMENT OF REFUGEES – AN UNARMED REFUGEE FOR GOODNESS SAKE RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF THE REFUGEES AND STOP THIS ILLTREATMENT

  5. The person has been in the Camp for 17 years – that is a long long time
    If he was in Canada , Australia , Sweden or United States he would not receive this INHUMANE treatement why cannot an african country treat others from the continent with RESPECT AND DIGNITY THAT THEY DESERVE?

    The refugee mentions that he is worried that the UNCHR is relocating to South Africa – It is human nature – he is becoming very anxious and worried
    There must be a reason why the UNCHR is relocationg – perhaps it i the HOSTILITY that the organisationa dn refugees are facing

    SADC HEADQUARTERS MUST ALSO RELOCATE FROM THIS HOSTILE PLACE

  6. Wondering if the UNCHR Headquarters in Geneva is aware of the hostility the refugees are facing here??? SOmeone should make contact with them

  7. Credit must be given to the media for highlighting such issues and Time Magazine has honoured Journalists as follows:-
    “The Guardians.”

    That’s what Time magazine is calling the journalists behind 2018’s “Person of the Year,” which was revealed exclusively Tuesday morning on “Today.”

    With a record number of reporters behind bars around the planet — the Committee to Protect Journalists documented 262 cases in 2017 — an avalanche of misinformation on social media and government officials from the United States to the Philippines dismissing critical, real reporting as “fake news,” Time is spotlighting a handful of journalists who have one thing in common: They were targeted for their work.”

  8. One wonders if the country is prepared to make a U turn on Refugees seeking a safe haven to make them feel more welcome than being hostile towards them – there are MILLIONS not just a HANDFUL of people who are DISPLACED AROUND THE WORLD

  9. “The Kampala Convention is a treaty of the African Union that addresses internal displacement caused by armed conflict, natural disasters and large-scale development projects in Africa. The Convention was adopted in October 2009.”

  10. There was this incident a long time back when a man originally from Zimbabwe was SHOT yes SHOT by his employer who refused to pay him He lost his LIMBS wonder if he has ever received assistance to get prosthetics(limbs) to enable him to go about this is another HORRIFIC STORY that happened in this HOSTILE COUNTRY . THERE ARE MANY INCIDENTS OF HOSTILITY AROUND THE WORLD OCCURING ON MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES Other countries are RE-ADDRESSING THESE ISSUES SO WHY CANNOT THIS HOSTILE COUNTRY RE-ADDRESS THESE ISSUES ?
    Once again to the Media merci beaucoup , merci beaucoup for highlighing this issues

  11. If the Head of the UN is seen visiting REFUGEE CAMPS why cannot The Chief Executive of SADC adn those in Authority in this HOSTILE COUNTRY visit A REFUGEE CAMP? Expect She will expect a RED CARPET to be laid down for her when she visits a Camp so she does not have to spoil her expensive shoes?

  12. ALL these REFUGESS WANT IS THAT THEIR VOICES MUST BE HEARD that is why they are resorting to these tactics. Perhaps it probably needs the Youth in the region to visit these REFUGEES AND HEAR THEIR STORIES -but one must not be arrogant and hostile – one must have EMPATHY TOWARDS THEM- SHOW A CARING ATTITUDE TOWARDS THEM

  13. To the Youths Show the Current leadership in the REGION that you can be the CHANGE for the better and you are doing what they should be DOING including this HOSTILE country. Show the Region that they Should not be HOSTILE to REFUGEES/MIGRANTS

  14. The MEDIA must make a FOLLOW UP on the fate of the UNARMED REFUGEE who was met with HOSTILITY for just wanting to know about his future after beinig in this camp for 17 YEARS

  15. Why is this HOSTILE COUNTRY treating REFUGEES like CRIMINALS? All they want is for they voices to be heard hence the actions they take because NO ONE SEEMS TO BE LISTENING TO THEM . SOMEONE ONE SHOULD BE ATTENDING TO THEIR NEEDS AND NOT TURN A BLIND EYE TO THEM – they are the ones who should be given attention and not the THIEVING LEADERS AND THEIR THEIVING SPOUSES AND FAMILIES.

  16. This HOSTILE COUNTRY TOWARDS REFUGEES can learn from this Sudanese Doctor who has dedicated his life to treating REFUGEES

    “South Sudanese doctor honoured at UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award ceremony
    October 3, 2018

    Dr Evan Atar Adaha, an inspirational doctor from South Sudan, has won the 2018 Nansen Refugee Award. IKEA Foundation and IKEA co-workers were among the special guests at the award ceremony on 1 October and witnessed Dr Atar receive the honour. The event was hosted by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Geneva and supported by the IKEA Foundation.

    The Nansen Award is presented every year to a person or organisation who has dedicated their time, going above and beyond the call of duty to help people forcibly displaced from their homes.

    Outstanding commitment

    Dr Evan Atar Adaha is the medical director at a hospital in Bunj, South Sudan. He is also its only surgeon. He received the award in recognition of his outstanding 20-year commitment in providing medical services to people forced to flee conflict.

    The 120-bed hospital, more than 600 kilometres from the capital, Juba, is the only functioning surgical facility in the region. Dr Atar and his staff work in a difficult and dangerous environment, where simmering tensions often erupt into violence and skilled healthcare workers, medicines and equipment are in short supply.

    Dr Atar treats all those in need of care regardless of their background—a commitment that has earned him the respect of refugees and local people alike. His work shows the difference that one person can make, even with incredible odds stacked against them.”

  17. and this is the latest out of the DRC. The elections were supposed to take place TWO years ago and has only taken place now and there were protests regarding these electronic machines were most of them ended up being burnt by protestors One asks the capability of SADC as an Organisation and the word that always drops out of their mouths is “CHALLENGE” ? Global television could see these electoral office sitting on the ground sorting papers – Goodness Gracious? and if these are SADC standards alot leaves to be desired of this ORGANISATION. Just in short an Opposition never wins an election on this Continent how can an Organisation like SADC go about ENDORSING POLLS when there are IRREGULARTIES??? WHAT SORT OF PEOPLE ARE RUNNING AN ORGANISATION LIKE THIS ???

    SADC Endorses DRC Polls Despite Glaring Irregularities
    January 3, 2019
    Share

    Election monitors from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) said the December 30 DRC presidential election went relatively well despite chaotic scenes that prevented many from voting.

    DRC’s electoral commission has stated results from Sunday’s presidential election could be pushed back past January 6 deadline.

    In a statement, president of the Electoral Commission, Corneille Nangaa said that presently about just 17 percent of the tally sheets drawn up by individual polling stations have been verified by the commission.

    The crucial election is meant to lead to DRC’s first democratic transfer of power in 59 years of independence.

    Meanwhile, authorities in the DRC have blocked a TV station that is seen as pro-opposition from broadcasting, amid growing tension after Sunday’s presidential election.

    State Media”