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Mozambique’s National Immigration Service (SENAMI) repatriated 1,337 illegal migrants in the first half of the year compared with 2,732 in the same period in 2017.
The majority of these cases, representing 68 per cent of the total, were removed for overstaying. This refers to remaining in the country longer than the period stipulated by the visitor’s entry visa, or in the visa waiver agreements. Mozambique has visa waiver agreements with most other members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), including Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, but the period covered by the waiver is only 30 days (or, in the case of Tanzania, 90 days).
The rest of the repatriations were carried out due to people entering the country illegally.
These figures were revealed during a briefing given by the spokesperson for SENAMI, Cira Fernandes. She warned that people coming to Mozambique must obey the conditions laid down in the law.
Fernandes also revealed that during the first half of the year 15,492 Mozambicans were deported compared with 32,226 during the same period of 2017. She explained that practically all of those were deported from South Africa, making up all but thirty of the total. A further nineteen people were deported from Zimbabwe with the others expelled from Malawi.
According to SENAMI, the reduction in deportations reflects a change in the attitude of people on the need to carry a passport when crossing borders. SENAMI has seen a nine per cent increase in requests for migration documents.
The immigration service has also been clamping down on people lending their passports to friends or family members crossing a border. Earlier this month it announced that it had fined 540 Mozambicans for negligence leading to them “losing” their passports in the first quarter of the year.
At the time, Cira Fernandes told the daily newspaper “Noticias” that during this period 674 citizens applied for a replacement passport, which represents an increase of 41 per cent compared with the same quarter last year. Of this total, 443 claimed their original document had been stolen, whilst 164 stated that they had misplaced their passport. The rest said they needed a replacement due to a deterioration in the condition of their document.
Most of the requests came from the city of Maputo and the southern provinces of Maputo and Gaza.
Meanwhile, the number of people coming to Mozambique has been growing. Fernandes said the increase was partially based on the country’s political stability, tourism, business opportunities, and the discovery of natural resources. To meet the growth in people crossing the border, SENAMI had increased its number of inspections to 2,145 compared with 943 in the same period last year.Source: AIM
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