Lilongwe urged to probe xenophobic attacks on Malawians in Tanzania

Two leading human rights non-governmental organisations in Malawi Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for Development of People (CEDEP) have appealed to the government of Malawi in conjunction with their Tanzanian counterparts to urgently investigate the recent “alleged” xenophobic attacks on some of the deported Malawians

The attacks reportedly led to the death of one Malawian nationality.

CHRR and CEDEP said this in their reaction to the recent media reports indicating that some of the deported Malawi citizens were subjected to acts of human rights violations at the hands of their Tanzania counterparts with one Malawian nationality reportedly said to have died in the process and still others lost property, jobs and businesses as well as being injured.

Malawi’s Vice President Khumbo Kachali has so far appealed to all Malawians to remain calm and not avenge the reported xenophobic attacks, saying dialogue is key to resolving such issues.

Gift Trapence :  Malawi should investigate the alleged abuses
Gift Trapence : Malawi should investigate the alleged abuses

However, while concurring with Malawi government’s stance to accord dialogue a priority on the issue the two rights groups are of the view that such an approach should not in any way stand in the way of the two government’s conducting investigations on the alleged xenophobic attacks on some of the deported Malawians in Tanzania.

“While commending the government of Malawi for moving fast on this issue of deportation of some Malawians from Tanzania by amongst other things having an audience with the casualties as well as pledging government’s support in their predicament, we at CHRR and CEDEP strongly believe that the government of Malawi must take an extra step on the matter by amongst other things addressing some of the burning issues that have emerged in relation to the manner and context in which the deportation was conducted as raised above.”

The grousps said they are keen to hear the measures the government of Malawi [in conjunction with their counterparts of Tanzania] has taken in order to establish the truth on the alleged claims of human rights violations that some deported Malawi citizens are said to have suffered at the hands of their Tanzanian counter-parts .

“While we strongly agree with government’s stance as well as the various quarters who have expressed the need for both camps to follow the diplomatic path by amicably engaging with each other in the spirit of peace and unity, we at CHRR and CEDEP view that such a diplomatic approach should not inhibit both governments as well as citizens of good will from soberly investigating the alleged serious human rights violations that marred Tanzania’s sweeping exercise of illegal immigrants.”

CHRR and CEDEP believe that an extensive, sober investigation into this matter can go a long way in clearing or correcting some prevailing speculations on the matter – speculations which if not ably corrected may have the potential of shaking the foundations of a firm Malawi and Tanzania bilateral relations.

“Ignoring such a step under the guise of avoiding aggravating the already tense situation between the two countries following the lake dispute wrangle may not only be viewed in the eyes of patriotic Malawians as a violation to their right to access relevant information which they are currently yearning to hear but may also have a great bearing on how we define and manage our foreign policy in the face of human rights obligations as enshrined in both the constitution of Malawi as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948” reads the statement signed by Timothy Mtambo, CHRR Acting Executive Director and Gift Trapence, CEDEP Executive Director.”

CHRR and CEDEP then call for peace, soberness and calmness amongst all Malawians, and between Malawians and their Tanzanian counterparts.

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