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Thu, 10 Oct 2019 18:12 - Updated Thu, 10 Oct 2019 18:11

UNHCR accommodates refugees retained at borders

Dundo - The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Angola has created two transit centers to accommodate the 5,000 refugees stranded on the border of Tchicolondo, the border between the provinces of Lunda Norte (Angola) and Cassai Central (DRC).

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Return of DRC refugees (file)

Photo: Assis Kituta

The retention in the locality is due to the lack of reception conditions in the province of Central Cassai, its final destination, in the context of voluntary repatriation.

According to UNHCR's acting representative in Angola, Wellington Carneiro, two transit centers were set up at the request of the Congolese authorities, until conditions are created in the alluded Congolese province.

He informed that food and medical assistance is assured, and contacts are currently being made to provide transportation that will take refugees to their areas of origin this month.

On the other hand, it denounced that of the 14,724 citizens repatriated voluntarily, only 11,986 are UNHCR-registered refugees in Lóvua camp and the rest are migrants.

He said that from the survey, about 3,000 refugees still expressed their willingness to stay in Angola and will be assisted by UNHCR.

The current concentration of these returnees means that UNHCR only begins by repatriating refugees to the Cassai province through the Nachiri border post in this organized process.

On the first day of the voluntary and organized repatriation started on Wednesday, 221 refugees were repatriated.

The total number of DRC citizens at the time in Angola, in the province of Lunda Norte, in particular, reached 35,000, of which 23,686 were received in the Lóvua refugee camp, while the remaining 11,331 were distributed by the provincial communities.

The migration of these citizens stemmed from widespread violence caused by political and ethnic tensions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in May 2017.

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