Refugees vacate area outside UN High Commission in Pretoria

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The Tshwane Ward 56 Councillor Jarad Frimmel says a group of refugees, who were camping outside the offices of the United Nations High Commission in Pretoria, have vacated the area.

A recent court order permitted the removal of refugees, who were residing on the pavement of the UNHCR offices since 2019. Frimmel says some refugees were taken to the Lindela Repatriation Centre, while six were arrested.

“Today was a great success, a joint operation with many role-players. Fortunately, no incidents of violence took place. All in all, ten people have voluntarily decided to return to the Lindela Repatriation Centre in the Department of Home Affairs. Six people were arrested for being illegal immigrants. The rest of the group vacated the area voluntarily.”

Municipal workers demolish makeshift structures left by refugees camping outside the United Nations High Commission for Refugees offices in Brooklyn.

They’re loading belongings such as mattresses, cutlery, clothing, blankets and plastic materials. This, as police, immigration and city officials are continuing to monitor the situation.

Lawyers for Human Rights have in the meantime engaged local NGOs to assist those who refused to go to the Lindela Refugee Centre on the West Rand which provides alternative accommodation and humanitarian aid.

Over 100 refugees mostly from the DRC, Kenya, Burundi and Uganda have been camping outside the UN offices since 2019.