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Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Friday urged Mozambicans living in Swaziland to register with the Mozambican authorities.
It is estimated that there are some 40,000 Mozambicans living in Swaziland, but only about half of them are registered with the Mozambican High Commission.
Speaking to a meeting of dozens of Mozambicans in the Swazi city of Manzini, Rosario said that a registration campaign will begin within two weeks and will last for nine months. Mozambican civil registration brigades will attempt to register all Mozambicans living in Swaziland, and Rosario called on the Mozambican migrants to cooperate.
“President Filipe Nyusi has spoken with King Mswati III, and the work will go well, if we all cooperate”, he stressed.
Mozambicans living in Swaziland without any official registration have frequently complained that they cannot enroll their children in secondary schools, and are unable to obtain residence or work permits. When Mozambican migrants who lack identification die in Swaziland, they are buried in common graves.
Some of the Mozambicans in this situation fled into Swaziland during the war of destabilization that ended in 1992, and never returned. With the return of Mozambique to peace, they lost the refugee status they once enjoyed. Other Mozambicans simply crossed the border into Swaziland in search of better living conditions.
Joaquim Bule, an advisor to Mozambican Interior Minister Basilio Monteiro, said “the next step is to find each and every Mozambican living here and provide them with documents such as identity cards and passports”.
But he noted that the last registration attempt was a failure. “We were frustrated when the possibility for registration was opened in the past”, said Bule. “We stayed here for about a month, but very few people registered”.
“This time, anybody who does not register will have to deal with the Swazi authorities”, he warned.
The main purpose of Rosario’s visit to Swaziland is to represent President Nyusi at an extraordinary summit of heads of state and government of SADC (Southern African Development Community).Source: AIM