How did Zambia become the continent-leader in refugee integration?

Published: 17/Juin/2014
Source: African Arguments

By Arthur Simuchoba

This year Zambia took the liberty of observing World Refugee Day (June 20th), a week earlier than normal. There is, however, a sense that, even if unintentional, this was appropriate given that the country was among the earliest in Africa to begin taking in refugees and is currently among the leaders in the implementation of ‘local integration.’ This is one of the ‘durable solutions’ fervently promoted by the UNHCR, the refugee agency of United Nations, on the grounds that it confers permanent legal status to former refugees.

But local integration is often not readily appreciated or accepted by host communities. In Zambia for instance, the Deputy Home Affairs Minister Nixon Chilangwa has talked of the bewilderment with which it was received:

“How can you give citizenship to Angolans? How many Zambians have been given citizenship in Angola?”

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Themes: Nationalité des réfugiés
Regions: Zambie
Year: 2014