Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 October 2017, 16:02 GMT

U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2001 - Botswana

Publisher United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Publication Date 20 June 2001
Cite as United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2001 - Botswana , 20 June 2001, available at: [accessed 18 October 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Botswana hosted some 3,000 refugees and asylum seekers at the end of 2000, primarily from Namibia and Angola.

Refugees from Namibia

Several thousand Namibian refugees have fled to Botswana in recent years because of a separatist rebellion in the Caprivi region of Namibia. Prior to 2000, more than 1,000 refugees repatriated from Botswana to Namibia. Some repatriations were voluntary, and some were involuntary.

Approximately 1,000 new Namibian refugees fled to Botswana during 2000, including about 400 in February. Some of the new arrivals had repatriated to Namibia only a year earlier.

More than 1,000 Namibian refugees – new arrivals as well as longer-term refugees – lived at Dukwe refugee camp. Camp residents received food, clothing, and mattresses, and could join training programs offered by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). About 190 refugee children attended primary and secondary school at the camp.

Refugees complained of occasional mistreatment by local police at Dukwe camp. A number of Namibian refugees jailed since 1999 for minor offenses were released by Botswanan authorities in March. The exact number released was unreported.

UNHCR reported that budget shortfalls hampered its operations in Botswana. "The inability to deploy permanent protection staff to monitor border areas and to carry out other critical protection and assistance functions had serious effects," a mid-year UNHCR report stated.

Refugees from Angola

Hundreds of Angolan refugees have lived in Botswana for several years and have indicated no interest in returning to Angola. UNHCR continued its effort to obtain citizenship rights for long-term Angolan refugees.

More than 300 new Angolan refugees fled to Botswana during 2000 because of violence along the Angola-Namibia border. Many of them moved into Dukwe refugee camp.

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