Japan Backs Voluntary Return of Former Angolan Refugees

Report
from International Organization for Migration
Published on 04 Apr 2014 View Original

Angola - IOM Angola has received USD 1 million from the Government of Japan to facilitate the safe voluntary return of at least 1,950 Angolans from neighbouring countries to their places of origin in Angola.

The nine-month project will be implemented in close coordination with IOM offices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Zambia, and in close partnership with the Angolan government, UNHCR and other local and provincial stakeholders.

Following the 2002 peace agreement, between 2003 and 2012 over 423,000 Angolans voluntarily returned home and were reintegrated under a regional voluntary return programme implemented jointly by the Government of Angola, host countries, IOM and UNHCR.

In July 2013 Angola and the DRC identified another 23,940 former Angolan refugees – out of a total of 71,800 still living in the country – willing to return home. In August 2013, Angola and Zambia identified another 23,795 Angolans in Zambia. It is not yet clear how many are prepared to return.

“Japan has been a generous contributor to IOM’s work in helping former Angolan refugees to return home. This operation also reflects the strong commitment of the Angolan government to close the refugee chapter, achieve their sustainable reintegration and bring them into national development processes,” says IOM Angola Chief of Mission Salvatore Sortino.

“Japan has cooperated with the UN organizations in diverse projects in Angola and contributed to the return exercise in 2013 led by IOM. This year, we decided to continue our collaboration with IOM Angola. The Government of Japan attaches great importance to cooperation with Angola and is convinced that this funding will be used for the effective voluntary return of former Angolan refugees,” said Japan’s Ambassador to Angola Ryozo Myoi.

For more information, please contact

Salvatore Sortino IOM Angola Tel. 226430870/880, Ext. 4777 Email: ssortino@iom.int

or

Ryota Takahashi Embassy of Japan in Angola Email: ryota.takahashi-2@mofa.go.jp.

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