Namibia Under Pressure From Angolan Migrants Fleeing Drought
(Bloomberg) -- Namibia says the situation of the thousands of Angolans, mostly women and children, who are entering the country to escape hunger triggered by a drought is putting extra pressure on the Southwest African nation’s already strained public facilities.
Namibia is in touch with the Angolan authorities but the Angolan nationals are refusing to go back, Home Affairs Minister Albert Kawana told lawmakers late Thursday evening. While there is no international legal obligation for Namibia toward the migrants, he said, the country has “a moral obligation to ensure that their return to their country of origin is made in a humane manner.”
The situation is putting pressure mainly on the health system, but also other public services, he said.
The thousands of Angolans living in the border provinces with Namibia are crossing into the country in search of food, water, medical services as well as employment opportunities. According to Kawana, the number of citizens seeking refugee status increases daily but the “economic migrants” don’t meet the required conditions.
Kawana said the Angolans are leaving their country due to drought and crossing into Namibia for survival because they are desperate. He added that Namibia had registered 4,354 migrants crossing into the country since January this year but he suspects the figure is higher.
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