Britain, U.N. address Zimbabwean asylum

July 11, 2008 at 5:56 PM
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LONDON, July 11 (UPI) -- Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Britain has stopped deporting Zimbabweans who failed to receive asylum because of the unrest in the African country.

Brown said Zimbabweans unable to work in Britain because they did not receive asylum will be housed and receive vouchers to ensure they are not destitute, The New Zimbabwean reported.

"They are prevented from leaving through no fault of their own," Brown said.

Meanwhile, the U.N. refugee agency urged South Africa to stop deporting Zimbabweans, saying a growing number of them were arriving because of political violence in their homeland.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said the already high number of refugees crossing the border seeking asylum has increased since the June 27 presidential runoff, the United Nations said in a news release.

The agency is seeing "an increasing number of families arriving as a result of political violence, with several people showing signs of beatings or torture," said UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis. "The high commissioner is reiterating his appeal to South Africa to halt all deportations of Zimbabweans and ensure that those seeking asylum should have access to the national asylum procedures."

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