Angola + 6 more

Angola: About 200,000 refugees still in exile

Luanda, 05/14 - About 200,000 Angolan refugees are still living in various countries of the world, said on Monday, here, the official of reintegration of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Enrique Valles.

Of this number, 128,000 are living in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 5,000 in Namibia, 800 in Botswana and 2,666 in Congo Brazzaville.

There are other 14,000 in South Africa, 18,000 in sheltering fields in Zambia and 24,000 in various places is this neighbouring country.

The UN official presented these figures to Angop while commenting on the situation of Angolan refugees abroad and about those ones who have already returned home.

He said there has been talks with UNHCR officials in those countries and the institution thinks that it is important local re-integration plans, to facilitate the execution of the process, according to legal requirements.

On the other hand, he said there are at least 1,700 Angolan refugees in Brazil, but only 30 are interested in returning home.

Commenting on whether the "refugee status" should continue to be applied to the rest of Angolans still in exile, since the Angolan government have closed the organised and voluntary repatriation process, on March 2007, the source explained that to speak about this issue is to touch on a criterion that has a very complex legal content, which includes the application of the clause on the cessation of refugees commission.

Official figures point out that over 400,000 Angolan refugees returned to the country from 2003 to 2006 and they are receiving aid from the government and the UNHCR.