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Malawi: Refugee Sweeping Exercise Starts in the North

Police say the sweeping exercise for refugees from the country’s townships and areas has started on a good note in the northern region.

The government started the ‘operation chotsa ma Burundi’ last week in a bid to bring all refugees back to Dzaleka refugee camp in Dowa.

Police in the northern region said they have so far rounded up about 10 families.

Northern Region Police Commissioner Noel Kayira said two families were residing at Jenda Trading Centre while seven were from Nkhata Bay.

Kayira said they will soon take the exercise to Chitipa, Karonga, Rumphi, Likoma and Mzuzu City.

According to the police, the families are currently being ferried to Dzaleka.

Out of the 400 refugees and asylum seekers who were rounded up in Lilongwe, only 150 had proper documentation and were sent to Dzaleka refugee camp while the rest remain at Maula prison awaiting deportation to their respective countries.

Minister of Homeland Security Ken Zikhale Ng’oma snubbed a United Nations call to halt the sweeping exercise, saying the country was following laws in doing the exercise.

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