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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 37, Number 5. 3rd April 1974

Thousands flee racist terror

Thousands flee racist terror

But the Zambian Government has long made it clear that it is prepared to put principles before expediency or economic interests, and as a result it refuses to return the refugees to the countries from which they came.

The government is assisted by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and by several Christian agencies within the country. Twelve thousand refugees live in these settlements—3,700 at Nyimba, 1128 at Mayukwayukwa, and 7361 at Maheba in the north, close to the Zaire and Angolan borders. Added to this the Zambian Government estimates that there are 25,000 refugees living inside Zambia close to the borders.

The refugee settlements are not open to inspection by any local people or tourists who feel like having a look. Permission has to be granted by the Commissioner for Refugees (a Zambian Government Civil Servant attached to the Ministry for Home Affairs) before the settlements can be either visited or photographed. This is no exercise in bureaucracy, and neither is it because the Zambian Government has anything to hide. It is chiefly because under a system where anybody could visit the settlements, spies would run rife. It is also to prevent the insensitive tourist from turning a people's suffering into a sideshow.