A not-for-profit organisation to represent all former Namibian refugees was launched by about 100 people at Katutura Youth Complex, Windhoek over the weekend.
The Former Refugees Repatriation Association Namibia (FRRAN) was founded with the aim of safeguarding and representing the interest of all the repatriated refugees in 1989. The association stressed that a number of former refugees do not have any form of representation and its approval to operate as a non-profit association will strive to ensure those former refugee gains full representation.
The founding president of the association, Mathew Nangolo, said it would be the only independent association to represent all former Namibian refugees.
“The aim of the association is to represent the Namibian people who were in exile under the leadership of Swapo. These are the people who form part of this association,” said Nangolo.
Nangolo further indicated to New Era that part of the mandate of the association is to seek coherent answers as to what happened to the budgeted money for resettlement for all people, including children born in exile.
Nangolo said half of the United Nations’ programmes were meant to help people who were repatriated but have not seen the light of day after independence and that they have left a lot of exile kids stranded.
In addition, he further said, “under normal circumstances, since the UN has failed to resettle neither rehabilitate us, this association is going to prompt investigation as to why Namibians who were in exile were never resettled neither rehabilitated, yet the same UN has managed to resettle the rebels of Mishake Muyongo who ran to Botswana in 1999,” said Nangolo.
Nangolo, who has spent about 15 years in exile, further alleged that the UN has given the Mishake Muyongo everything they needed upon their return from Botswana as refugees when they came back to Namibia.
He indicated to New Era that the association would set the record clear and give correct information of the history that is “continuously being distorted”.
Nangolo said on behalf of the association, they are going to request what tangible programmes were established and how the concerned money was used.
“Failure to implement the UN envisaged goals to rehabilitate and resettle the refugees is what has given rise to the issue of the so called ‘struggle kids’. Some parents of these kids died in exile and they should have been taken care of but the UN has failed in that regard. This association will be responsible for making sure their plight is considered,” emphasised Nangolo.