Sixteen illegal Congolese finally at Osire

22 Oct 2013 09:50am
OTJIWARONGO, 22 OCT (NAMPA) – The 16 Congolese nationals who arrived in Otjiwarongo on Saturday around midnight, have now been resettled at the Osire refugee camp.
This camp is situated some 100 kilometres south of Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region.
According to the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Osire Refugee Camp Police Station Commander, Warrant Officer Obed Uirab, the 16 Congolese nationals are all from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Uirab told Nampa on Monday that the 16 Congolese spent a night at the Otjiwarongo police station on Saturday after they were dropped there by an unidentified bus driver.
“They are now safe at the Osire refugee camp, where they were all declared as refugees on Monday,” he stated.
However, it is still unclear how they had entered Namibia through the Wenela border post in the Zambezi Region on Saturday morning, and hitch-hiked to Otjiwarongo late that afternoon, Uirab explained.
Meanwhile, a member of the police force at the Otjiwarongo police station told this agency on condition of anonymity on Sunday that the 16 Congolese nationals were dropped at the Otjiwarongo police station shortly after 23h00 on that Saturday.
She said the Congolese told her that they would like to be transported to the nearest refugee camp in the country.
“In total, they are 16; 11 men and five women,” noted the police officer, before adding that there was also a two-year-old child amongst them.
The group is headed by a 55-year-old man.
When this reporter visited them at the backyard of the Otjiwarongo police station where they had spent the night, they were found eating slices of brown bread from the police station’s kitchen.
They could not express themselves in English, and communicated in Swahili.

The Osire refugee camp is home to refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, (DRC), Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi, amongst others.
The camp has an active Combined School, health centre, police station, post office, shops and offices of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration.
It was founded in the 1970s to provide shelter to mostly Angolan nationals, who had fled the Angolan civil war.