Zambia : nearly 30 Burundians detained for illegal immigration

Zambia : nearly 30 Burundians detained for illegal immigration

Zambian police say they have arrested 29 Burundians for illegal immigration. They went through Tanzania and wanted to reach South Africa. Activists cry out against human trafficking and ask Burundian authorities to take necessary measures to prevent this movement, which has become very frequent in recent times. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

The operation to track down these Burundians was carried out by the police, alerted by immigration.

“This joint operation resulted in the apprehension of 29 suspected illegal immigrants, believed to be of Burundian origin. Suspects are between 10 and 40 years old”, Josephine Malambo, communications officer at the Zambian Immigration Department, told local media.

“Twelve Burundian nationals entered Zambia through Zombe Immigration Border Control, 13 who had fake Tanzanian travel documents entered Zambia through Mbala while four had no documents on them. They are held in Chirundu district for investigation”, it added.

They all entered Zambia last January.

Human trafficking …

“ONLCT où est ton frère?”, an NGO that fights against human trafficking is alarmed. The Ugandan police intercepted 24 other Burundian nationals who were heading for Gulf countries during the same month.

“More than 50 Burundians arrested in a single month for illegal immigration to countries in the sub-region! This is not normal”, worries lawyer Prime Mbarubukeye, head of this NGO who speaks of “human trafficking favored or maintained”.

The national observatory for the fight against transnational crime tries to explain this massive movement of Burundians abroad.

“It is linked to poverty, growing unemployment and lack of capital especially among young people, the poor management and distribution of travel documents such as passports as well as the poorly managed and misunderstood workers’ export program” .

“ONLCT où est ton frère” recommends that the Burundian government take this issue seriously.

“The Government of Burundi must organize services having the issuance of travel documents (passport) in their attribution so that they make these documents available in real time, are closely monitoring the issue of illegal migration of Burundians to Zambia, which is beginning to be worrying, as was the case with Serbia. Burundian authorities must also sign, like the agreements already concluded with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, similar agreements with other African countries with a whole mosaic of employment opportunities, in particular Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya… and do employment programs to fight youth unemployment”, advises Mbarubukeye.

Activists fear that these illegal migrants risk creating insecurity in neighboring countries.

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