from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE United Nations has welcomed the commitment by Zimbabwe to protect refugees.
Supporting the government’s efforts to enable this dominated the just-conclude visit of UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Gillian Triggs, to the country.
She visited the Southern African country from January 19 to 21.
Triggs met UN partners, donors and cabinet ministers.
The envoy said she had open and constructive discussions with the government on all issues relating to the protection of refugees and asylum-seekers in the country.
“I’m encouraged that the Government (Zimbabwe) will reinforce their commitment to improving refugee protection in accordance with international law,” Triggs said.
Zimbabwe is home to more than 22 000 refugees and asylum-seekers.
Most refugees live in the Tongogara refugee camp in the eastern Manicaland province.
A small population lives in urban areas.
Zimbabwe hosts mainly refugees from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique and Rwanda.
Zimbabwe submitted 14 pledges during the Global Refugee Forum in 2019 and the High-Level Panel on Statelessness.
There were seven to improve the situation of refugees in the country and seven on statelessness.
“I thank the Government for this bold decision in support of refugees and to address statelessness issues, I encourage them to fulfill all the commitments,” Triggs said.
She thanked the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa for including refugees and asylum-seekers in the national COVID-19 response and related national vaccination plans.
Refugees and asylum-seekers in Zimbabwe have access to the health and education systems.
– CAJ News