Namibian/Caprivian Elders in Botswana
Dukwi Refugee Camp
P.O BOX 211
29 August 2017
The Tripartite Commission – (UNHCR, Namibia and Botswana)
C/off Settlement Commandant
Ministry of Defense Justice and Security
Dukwi Refugee Camp
Private Bag F11
Re: NONE ATTENDENCE OF TRIPARTITE MEETINGS
Highly esteemed members of the Tripartite Commission, with due respect, we Caprivians in Botswana would like to formally respond to the meeting held on the 28 August 2017 which was addressed by the Settlement Commandant in Dukwi Refugee Camp.
The agenda of the meeting was to inform us that the Botswana Government is yet to continue with the process of the Secession Clause of our Refugee status.
He informed us that since December 31, 2015 we are not recognized as refugees in Botswana, stating that the Court ruling of the fourth January and final ruling of the 18 March 2016 did not restore our refugee status but simply to allow Botswana Government to ascertain herself with the conditions of our repatriation.
The Settlement Commandant also informed us of the impending GO and SEE COME and TELL Mission which is yet to take place on the first week of September 2017.
In response to the meetings which are/ shall be addressed at the platform of the tripartite Commission we have this to say:
- We shall not going to avail ourselves in all the tripartite meetings which are going to be called to address us; as you could be aware that in our previous communication we indicated that in future we shall be reluctant to attend your meetings for the reasons cited in both the past and also in this communication.
- Many times we have been informed that UNHCR is none political organization and in its operation is sturdily a humanitarian functions, we hereby acknowledge the same and as a result we would like to respect that.
- We are made aware that UNHCR cannot and will not in future create a platform where our political problem can be resolved; as they have failed to do so in the past 19 years we have been knocking at their door.
- What is reprehensible and sickening is the stance of the UNHCR regional representative Veronica Irima Modey-Ebi who in her recent statement in the workshop to mark 50 years of refugee protection in Botswana mentioned that Botswana Government is keeping Namibians and Zimbabweans refugees in Dukwi Refugee Camp while their Countries are stable, urging Botswana to repatriate those Nationalities back to their Countries of origin.
- We Caprivians are well aware of her. Firstly, she has no feelings at all for refugees, secondly she is inciting war so that there is a proof of conflict in the Caprivi Strip by shedding blood, and in other words those who die in cold blood are not dying according to her. Thirdly she does not believe in resolving problems peacefully like we have suggested in our case. Fourthly, we know her as one who wrote reports to Geneva persuaded by Namibia government that Namibia is peaceful and stable; these false reports were the tools for the misguided decision that actually gave birth to the Cessation Clause for the Caprivians, only to be saved by Lobatse High Court in Botswana.
- We reconfirm our status that we are United Democratic Party (UDP) members of the Caprivi Strip, whose leadership lives in exile since 1998.
- We therefore state that as UDP, we are not going to participate in the forthcoming Go and SEE COME and TELL Mission, be officially informed with due respect that people who are going to participate in it are not UDP people and they shall be representing themselves and we do not expect any feed back of their trip; as you could be aware that the people who went in the previous GO and SEE were given only 2 hours with gunpoint to leave the Country on the account that they are UDP people.
- We reconfirm to you that we are victims of the political situation in the Caprivi Strip and that our Party is banned.
- We refer you to 1998 when we entered Botswana that we were granted political status with the true belief that we were running from persecution due to our political opinion on the Caprivi issue, and that the political status of Caprivi remains the same.
- We acknowledge that Botswana Government calculatingly did not recognize us as a political party though they hosted our UDP leadership led by Mr. Mishake Muyongo who is currently in exile in Den Mark.
- However; not recognizing us as a political Party does not change us.
- You may recall that previously we resisted strongly entertaining Namibia through allowing ourselves to the platform of the tripartite meetings, but we did it because our host Country Botswana wanted us to do so for their purpose and we respected and gave ourselves in, and now we retract that decision as per reasons in this communiqué.
- We believe that without doubt we have proved to you, NGO’s , SADC, many Countries who have been following our issue and the international community through many communications done, that Namibia is occupying and governing Caprivi by a gunpoint and that they have displayed clearly how undemocratic they are by refusing the suggested peaceful solution to the Caprivi political problem.
- We also remind you that in our previous communications with the Tripartite Commission we had suggested and emphasized the importance of creating a different neutral platform where we can be part of the solution to the problem.
- We therefore believe that now is time.
In conclusion, we would like to underscore the purpose of this communication which is none attendance of the Tripartite meetings to be considered; in order to avoid misunderstandings and foster the perpetual respect that has prevailed since our arrival in this democratic and peace loving Country Botswana.
We reiterate our call for dialogue with the Namibian Government with emphasis that the Caprivi political crisis can only be resolved through a peaceful process; and that Namibia should not deny themselves such an opportunity.
We remain open and ready to attend to all meetings which shall be called, but this excludes tripartite meetings.
We urge all peace loving Countries, NGO’s and individuals to join us in seeking a peaceful solution to the Caprivi political problem.
On behalf of the Caprivian Community
Signed by: 1. Felix Kakula
Cell NO: 71767085
: 2. Bothman Ntesa
Cell NO: 73540158
Cc: 1. Ditshwanelo (Botswana Centre for Human Rights)
- Namrigts (Namibia Human Rights)
- Botswana Christian Council (BCC)
- Botswana Intelligent Services (SOWA)
- Station Commander- Dukwi Police