Immigration Dept repatriates 19 more Ethiopians in prison decongestion exercise

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services on Tuesday repatriated 19 more Ethiopians in an exercise aimed to decongest Malawi’s prisons.

This is the third group of Ethiopians to be repatriated back to their native country in an exercise that is financially supported by the International Organization of Migration (IOM).

Reports indicate that illegal immigrants are taking larger spaces in Malawi’s prisons as they are usually arrested in large groups thereby causing congestion in the reformation facilities.

Illegal immigrants lining up to get their documents processed before departure at Kamuzu International Airport

Central Region spokesperson for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services, Pasqually Zulu, told Nyasa Times on Tuesday that the third phase of the repatriation exercise of the Ethiopian nationals, who were being held in various prison formations, was done through the Kamuzu International Airport.

“The total number expected to be repatriated was 58, however due to other technical challenges only 19 made it through. The challenges included errors that were made during travel document processing while others whose serving sentences are not yet over,” explained Zulu.

He said efforts are at an advanced stage to fast-track document processing on the errors made, and also engagement of key stakeholders to facilitate early release by taking advantage of the exercise is also at an advanced stage.

Meanwhile, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services has appealed to Malawians to refrain from aiding and abetting irregular migrants, saying this poses a serious threat to national security and social economic development of the country.

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