Namibia to continue to accommodate asylum seekers, refugees: official

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WINDHOEK, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Namibia's borders are open for asylum seekers, a government official said Monday, as Namibia joined the World in commemorating World Refugee Day.

The day in Namibia was commemorated under the theme, "Whoever, Wherever, Whenever, everyone has the right to seek safety".

"The theme reminds us that seeking asylum is a human right," Namibia's Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security, Daniel Kashikola said at an event held at Osire Refugee Camp located some 240 km far from the capital city Windhoek.

"The remembrance of this day has a significant memory to many Namibians who were refugees for many years in other sister countries," he added.

According to Kashikola, Namibia has an open asylum policy toward asylum seekers and refugees.

"As a product of international solidarity, Namibia will continue to accommodate asylum seekers and refugees in its territory," he added.

He said that Namibia is host to 8,118 asylum seekers and refugees from the following 17 countries.

"I must stress that these figures will increase because the ministry continues to receive asylum seekers through its reception centre in Katima Mulilo in Zambezi Region," he added.

Kashikola said Namibia together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will continue to be at the forefront to promote the well-being of asylum seekers and refugees by carrying out their noble responsibilities.

"We stand in solidarity with Namibia, as you uphold your international obligations of receiving and hosting displaced persons, amid what are very difficult conditions globally and having already done so for over three decades," the UNHCR Senior Legal Officer in Namibia, Bernadette Muteshi said.

World Refugee Day is celebrated annually on June 20, to signify the universal challenges and achievements of refugees in the world. Enditem

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