Department of refugees in the Ministry of Homeland Security in the country has today facilitated voluntary repatriation of at least 52 people from Burundi who were staying in the country as refugees.
They have left the country through Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe.
Their departure has taken a number of refugees who have left the country on voluntary arrangement to 276.
Senior Administrative and Operations Manager in the department, Hilda Katema Kausiwa has told journalists that the voluntary repatriation will ease the task that the country has in taking care of the refugees.
“We are pleased because this is something we are encouraging on the understanding that refugees cannot maintain their status for life, we are encouraging all durable solutions to be employed,” said Kausiwa.
She says there is expectation that more refugees will be supported to go back home if they voluntarily decide to go back to their respective countries.
One of the refugees, Hakizinama Geremie who has stayed in Malawians for five years expressed gratitude considering that he is going back to his home country.
“We are going back home as we hear reports that there is peace now and we would like to thank Malawians for welcoming and giving us shelter”, Geremie said.
People have been fleeing from Burundi for Malawi and other neighboring countries due to civil war that started in 1993 and it was the result of longstanding ethnic divisions between the Hutu and the Tutsi ethnic groups.
As of January this year, Malawi had 53,034 refugees and asylum seekers who also fled from countries like Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on various grounds.