Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Malanji, said the government had been implementing an open door asylum policy which had enabled thousands of asylum seekers and refugees to seek sanctuary in the country.
While acknowledging the security concerns and economic strains of hosting thousands of refugees, the minister said the country felt it was duty-bound to open its doors in the spirit of sharing the burden such people underwent.
“Even though the numbers hosted by Zambia from 1966 to date are small compared to other countries due to conflict in some Africa countries, the country stands ready to share its experiences and best practices with other countries.’’
Malanji said this when he made an intervention on a report of the Political and Humanitarian situation in Africa during the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU in Addis Ababa.
He also called on the AU to support countries that were hosting refugees at the expense of providing services to their citizens.
Currently, Zambia hosts no fewer than 63,809 refugees and persons of concerns, mostly from the Great Lakes Region.