Over 26,000 Angolans to return home until end of 2014
Luena - More than 26,000 Angolan refugees living in neighbouring countries for the last 30 years have expressed the wish to return home until the end of this year, under the process of voluntary repatriation jointly organised by the Government and its international partners.
The information was confirmed by the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Hans Lunshof, during the arrival of the first group of Angolan refugees from Zambia.
The official said this is the last phase of the process of repatriation of Angolan refugees from Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Namibia, South Africa and Botswana.
According to Hans Lunshof, those wishing to remain in the host country are free to do so and will gain the resident status, but those who would prefer to return home will be repatriated in an organised and phased manner until the end of 2014.
The source added that the UNHCR, in cooperation with the Angolan Government and social partners, will do their best to bring back to the country this year as many Angolans as they can.
Of the 26,000, the eastern province of Moxico is expected to receive more than one thousand as all is in place for their complete accommodation, the local representative of the Social Welfare Ministry, Augusto Jamba Ozana, said.
So far, 96 Angolan refugees have arrived in Moxico, under a process that started January 14 this year.
The operation of transfer of refugees from the Maheba and Mayukwayukwua camps in Zambia to Moxico (Angola) is carried out twice a week, with an airplane from that neighbouring country.
Those who return are accommodated in a transit centre in the locality of Sacassanje, some 14 kilometres of the provincial capital city, Luena, before they are driven to their final destination.
The parties involved in the operation include the governments of Angola and Zambia, UNHCR, International Organisation of Migration (IOM) and other social partners.