One of Angola’s oldest refugees in Zambia has urged the government to allow certain categories of refugees to naturalise and stay in Zambia, the Post of Zambia reported.
At least 23, 000 Angolan refugees in Zambia have up to June 30 to go back to their country following the cessation of their refugee status.
However, Erculano Salugardo, who turns 101 years on July 29, said that in view of the pending June 30 deadlines for the refugees, consideration should be given to certain categories such as old age, and those that have stayed for a long time in Zambia.
Salugardo said Angolans who had stayed long in Zambia would find it difficult to settle in their country and that many aged refugees were not willing to return mainly because they had no families there.
“Where will I start from when I reach Angola? I don’t know where my family is and how many more years do I still have to live.
“It is better I stay here. Of course at times I feel lonely but I have come to feel my family is here,” he was quoted as saying.
The refugee, who described his life as lonely in Zambia for 10 years as a refugee, however, urged young and energetic refugees to go back home and help develop their country.
Source – Punchng