Malawi Police arrest 6 for xenophobic attacks

Malawi Police Service has arrested six suspected perpetrators of xenophobic attack on asylum seekers while other suspected culprits are on the run.

Dowa district in the central region has been on fire from Wednesday as some Malawians were beating and looting businesses belonging to Burundi asylum seekers.

Angry local residents took the law in their own hands and demolished asylum seekers homes and shops saying the “foreigners” are monopolising business opportunities for locals. Over 100 asylum seekers sought refuge at the district police unit fearing for their lives.

Shop of an asylum seeker in Dowa

The locals want the asylum seekers to return to their designated area Dzaleka refugee Camp where they are legally supposed to stay.

An impromptu meeting was held Wednesday evening between the district commissioner, police and other stakeholders to map the way forward but the situation remains tense.

According to police publicist for Dowa, Kondwani Kandiado, six locals have since been arrested after they were found looting in the fracas.

” We are getting help from UNHCR to move the asylum seekers, some have been ferried back to Dzaleka camp but unfortunately other have sneaked and have gone back to their homes.

“The issue has now been referred to parliamentary committee on international relations to see the way forward,” he said.

Felix Njawala, chairperson of Parliamentary Committee of International Relations said they are meeting UNHCR to discuss the wave of xenphobic attack and would present the report in parliament when it meets this month.

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