Botswana has come under fire from a Namibian human rights group over what the organisation describes as the brutal and cruel treatment and forcible deportation of refugees from the neighbouring country.
NamRights executive director, Phil ya Nangoloh, said in a statement on Monday, 7 January 2019, that Botswana is guilty of flouting public international law relating to the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.
“This guilt is evinced by the systematic refoulement (i.e. forcible deportation) of refugees and asylum seekers in that country,” he said.
He added: “In recent days, Botswana forcibly deported at least two Caprivi Strip nationals in blatant violations of both its own domestic legislation as well as the doctrine of non-refoulement as enshrined in International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law and Customary International Law.”
According to Nangoloh, the deportees were recognized refugees in Botswana.
“Forcible deportation of refugees and asylum seekers is, in any event, strictly prohibited under international human rights law to which both Botswana and Namibia are states parties,” he said.
However, the permanent secretary in Botswana’s Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security, Segakweng Tsiane, recently revealed that the refugees voluntarily relocated to their country of origin.
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