700 Ethiopian Nationals Up for Repatriation
A total of 350 Ethiopian nationals are bound for repatriation, an exercise rolled out by the Immigration Department in partnership with the Ethiopian government.
Central Region Immigration Public Relations Officer Pasqually Zulu told Zodiak Online the first and second cohorts of the repatriation exercise targets minors who are remanded in Malawi’s prisons.
Most of the minors are at Kachere Young Offenders prison in Lilongwe.
According to Zulu, there are close 800 Ethiopians on remand in the country’s prisons.
“In this first and second cohorts, we expect close to 700 Ethiopian nationals to be repatriated,” said Zulu.
Zulu added that the initiative being carried out with support from the International Organisation for Migration is aimed at decongesting the country’s prisons.
Said Zulu, “We are trying to decongest our prisons and again there is a lot of finance and resources that the Malawi government spends as these people are supposed to be fed.”
In reaction to the move, a Mzuzu University based lecturer Aubrey Kabisala has described it as best practice in migration governance.
“It’s a good development, as best practices in migration governance do not require putting people in prisons because the popular discourse is that migration needs to be managed,” explained Kabisala.
Most of the irregular migrants arrested in Malawi are said to be on transit to other countries such as South Africa.