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Botswana celebrates world refugee day
23/06/14
Botswana celebrates world refugee day
Botswana celebrates world refugee day

 

Botswana Celebrates World Refugee Day

The Secretary for Defence,Justice and Security in the Ministry of Defence,Justice and Security Mr Augustine Makgonatsotlhe says Botswana government has duty to protect refugees as the host nation, it is also imperative for the refugees to equally understand that they have a duty to abide by the laws of the host country.

While officiating  at the commemoration of the World Refugee day at Dukwi Refugee camp on Friday June 20, Mr Makgonatsotlhe pointed out that although Botswana government has duty to protect refugees as the host nation, it is also imperative for the refugees to equally understand that they have a duty to abide by the laws of the host country.

He said recently there was a spate of public attacks of government in the local media by some members of the refugee community, something he said was totally unacceptable.He noted that differences should be addressed through dialogue instead of bringing a third party before proper dialogue with the host.

“I wish to warn those who were involved in the smear campaigns in the local papers to desist from doing so and to remind them that the government will not hesitate to take drastic measures against the culprits,” he stressed.In addition, he asserted that the government of Botswana is committed to receiving and protecting refugees in accordance with the provisions of the international human rights instruments governing the status of refugees. He added that although it has been a challenge for the government, it has maintained its responsibility of ensuring that the refugees are safe and provided basic needs within the available resources at its disposal.

He also noted that it is for such reasons that during occasions such as the commemoration, they continue to sensitise the international community about refugee needs and appeal for their support to complement their efforts.

In addition, he highlighted that the government in partnership with Botswana Red Cross and the United States President Emergency Fund for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) continue to provide Anti Retro Viral (ARV) therapy, care and support as well as Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) treatment services to refugees in the camp. “We are happy to note that this funding will be extended for the next five years,” he said.


He further stated that psycho-social support services were also given to refugees to deal with challenges related to alcoholism, HIV related stigma and malnourished children noting that there are also active outreach campaigns led by the Red Cross on HIV prevention and transmittable diseases. And as way of improving literacy rate among the refugees, Mr Makgonatsotlhe said they were appreciative of the growing partnership that Skillshare International and Botswana continue to forge with private institutions to provide the requisite skills to refugee children.

He commended private institutions among them Maru a Pula and Livingstone Kolobeng College for sponsoring refugee children who excelled in their primary school leaving examinations , highlighting that the school scooped position four out of 15 schools in the Tutume West inspectorate and also position four out 45 schools in the Tutume sub region respectively.

 

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