20 Jun 2019 20:30pm
OSIRE, 20 JUN (NAMPA) - Nearly 6 000 refugees and asylum seekers in the Namibia on Thursday gathered at the Osire Refugee Settlement outside Otjiwarongo to commemorate the International Refugee Day.
The refugees commemorated the day with cultural performances, traditional dances, speeches and a soccer match under the theme Take a Step with the Refugees.
The annual International Refugee Day was adopted in 2001 by the United Nations General Assembly and the Organisation of African Union (OAU).
Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Maureen Hinda-Mbuende, who officiated at the event, gave assurances that Namibia remains committed to protecting asylum seekers and refugees in accordance with the provisions of the ratified international laws.
She said there are 5 665 recognised refugees in Namibia residing at Osire, of which the majority are from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Cameroon and Somalia.
In partnership with the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Namibia will continue to provide safety and security, shelter, health, education and other basic human needs to the persons of concern at Osire, she said.
Hinda-Mbuende said the Namibian Government will further continue to work closely with the UNHCR in facilitating any needed return of a refugee who would want to be reunited with his or her country of origin in the future.
For now, her ministry, through the directorate of refugee administration, is at a final stage in acquiring these refugees some special traveling documents that will allow and assist them to freely travel back whenever they would want to return to their countries of origin while still under protection of Namibia, the deputy minister said.
The Osire Refugee Settlement is situated about 110 kilometres south east of Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region.
It has a fully functional clinic, police station, primary and secondary schools, postal centre and immigration satellite offices serving the refugees and asylum seekers.