News and Information

January 13, 2005
Press Releases January 13 2005

Reliable human rights, immigration and refugee sources in Botswana informed NSHR late yesterday that Botswana authorities have deported at least another two Caprivi refugees.

Sources said that Botswana immigration authorities yesterday morning deported formerly Dukwe-based Caprivi refugee Rodwell “Fred” Katupisa Kauhano (34). The incident took place at the Gerald Estate Detention Centre in Francistown, some 400 kilometers, north of Gaborone, the Bostwata capital.

Citing unidentified reliable immigration sources in Botswana in a Press Release on October 6 2004, NSHR reported that authorities in that country detained Kauhano at the Dukwe Refugee Camp on October 5 2004. The camp is located some 450 kilometers north of Gaborone. The human rights organization then expressed concern that Kauhano might be subjected to refoulement to face possible high treason charges in Namibia in connection with the alleged plot to secede the Caprivi Region from the rest of Namibia.

Also citing unnamed reliable police and other verifiable sources in another Press Release on September 20 2004, NSHR also reported that Kauhano was “’repatriated’ to Namibia under mysterious circumstances” on September 3 2004. In the said Press Release the human rights organization also expressed concerned about Kauhano’s fate and called upon the Namibian Government to ‘reveal his whereabouts without delay’.

A subsequent NSHR investigation had shown that soon after being “repatriated” to Namibia, Kauhano was detained at the Max Makushe police precinct, in the Kavango Region, some 180 kilometers east of Rundu, the regional capital. While being held there high-ranking Namibian police officers allegedly interrogated him in connection with the alleged Caprivi secessionist plot.

On September 24 2004 Caprivi-based human rights defenders, also citing reliable sources, reported that Kauhano returned to Botswana on September 23 2004 and entered the Dukwe Refugee Camp.

NSHR records on the alleged plot indicate that Kauhano was among the first group of some 92 Caprivi refugees who fled the country to Botswana on or around October 27 1998 following widespread human rights abuses by Namibian security forces in the disputed Caprivi Region. On August 2 1999 Caprivi Liberation Army guerrillas launched an armed attack on several Government installations at Katima Mulilo. The said attack led to even more widespread human rights violations in the said Region.

NSHR information on the said violations also reveals that two other relatives of Kauhano, viz. Gibson L. Luka and Molicious Simone are among some 130 alleged Caprivi secessionists presently being held on multiple charges of high treason at the Grootfontein Prison, some 400 kilometers north of the Namibian capital.

The aforementioned sources also alleged that another Caprivian identified only as Charles was deported to Namibia between December 30 and 31 2004 under mysterious circumstances. Before his deportation, Charles was also held at the Gerald Estate Detention Centre. His involvement, if any, in the alleged Caprivi secessionist plot is not previously known to NSHR.

Back in Namibia, the two deportees are likely to face political persecution, including prolonged detention or enforced disappearance in connection with the marathon high treason trial. Hence, NSHR calls upon Namibian authorities, not only to disclose the present whereabouts of both Kauhano and Charles, but also the charges, if any, under which the two deportees might be held in custody in the country.


    Support Caprivi Freedom
Fill out the form below to become a member of this site and receive our regular newsletter.

First Name
Last Name