Zim marks World Refugee Day

HARARE - Zimbabwe will today join the rest of the international community in commemorating the World Refugee Day — originally the African Refugee Day.

However, for Zimbabwe the official commemorations will be held on 28 June 2013 at Tongogara Refugee camp in Chipinge district. Paurina Mpariwa, minister of Labour and Social Services will be the guest of honour.
The chosen theme for this year’s commemorative events is “One family torn apart by war is too many”.

 This year marks a record year for forced displacement, with more people becoming refugees or internally displaced persons than at any time since 1994. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)’s 2012 Global Statistical Trends Report has shown the extent of forced displacement from a string of major humanitarian crises that unravelled from 2012 starting with the events in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Sudan, Syria and the now cyclic scenes of violence in Somalia.

On the occasion of the World Refugee Day this year, UNHCR said it wishes to record its sincere gratitude for the generosity the government and people of Zimbabwe have continued to show towards persons arriving in the country as asylum-seekers or as part of the ever growing phenomenon of persons who arrive in mixed migratory population flows principally through the Nyamapanda border entry post.

“In the case of Zimbabwe, UNHCR wishes to record its special thanks because despite the tremendous developmental and other challenges facing the country, both the government and people of Zimbabwe have remained committed to preserving the institution of asylum, and tolerating the presence of refugees and other persons of concern on Zimbabwean territory, and most importantly, sharing the meagre resources such as health and medical facilities as well as ensuring the personal security for refugees and other persons of concern,” UNHCR said in a statement.

“With increased numbers of refugees and others of concern, there is a real risk that the search for durable solutions will be outpaced. UNHCR’s appeal is that where security is restored, or the original reasons leading to displacement have disappeared, we must together allow sustainable refugee returns thereby lessening the burden on countries such as Zimbabwe, who have been hosting refugees for prolonged periods of time.”

The office of the UNHCR applauded the government of Zimbabwe for ratifying the Kampala Convention on Internally Displaced Persons in May 2013. - Staff Writer

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