IOM South Africa restores hope of 45 refugees with a second chance to a new home

On May 3rd, 2023, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) assisted 45 refugees of Somali, Congolese, Ethiopian, and Burundian origins in departing from South Africa. These refugees were accepted for resettlement in the United States of America and Canada, and the IOM provided support for their departure.

The refugees have been residing in South Africa for over fifteen (15) years and were subsequently referred to the United States Refugee Admissions Programme (USRAP) for resettlement as part of a durable solution. Upon entering the airport terminal, Claudine Ntakirutimana expressed disbelief that this was happening and felt blessed to have the opportunity to continue her studies in the US and pursue a career as a nurse.

“I still cannot believe that this is happening, I will be able to further my studies in the US and become a nurse, I am blessed”- said Claudine Ntakirutimana.

The Department of Home Affairs in South Africa issued the refugees with departure exit permits, and IOM arranged transportation for the beneficiaries from different respective residing locations to the common departure point in Gauteng, for pre-departure medical screening at the Migration Health Assessment Centre (MHAC) to assess their fitness for travel. Then, they were transported to O.R. Tambo international airport for departure formalities.

“What a relief, it has been a very long process, I am grateful to IOM for their help, I’m going to my new home”- said Mr Emil Majaliwa after checking in his luggage at the airport.


For more information kindly contact: Reneilwe Moningi – / +27 82 430 7489