Ministers assess situation of Congolese refugees

Report
from Government of Angola
Published on 19 Aug 2019 View Original

Dundo - Angola's ministers of Defense, Salviano de Jesus Sequeira, and Social Action, Family and Woman Promotion, Faustina Fernandes Alves, started assessing this Monday, in eastern Lunda Norte, the current situation of the Democratic Republic of Congo refugees.

The visit of the Angolan officials comes after at least 8,000 refugees out of the overall 23,600 located in Lóvua, eastern Lunda Norte, abruptly decided to walk out of Angola.

In Dundo city, the refugees walked an overall distance of 80 to 90 kilometers towards Angola/DRC border.

According to the source, the Angolan government is negotiating with remaining refugees, more than 90 percent of the total, to dissuade them from returning to DRC without supportive logistical condition.

According to ANGOP source, the recommendation for not abruptly leave Lóvua fields has been given by the parts involved in the repatriation process, namely Angola, DRC and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

To recall that in July the government of the eastern Lunda Norte (Angola) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) assessed the repatriation process of over 20,000 refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) accommodated in that region since May 2017.

The negotiations arose due to the fact that in June this year, 85 percent of the refugees expressed willingness to return home saying that the causes that forced them to abandon their country no longer existed.

However, the meeting decided that the Angolan authorities needed to reach soon an agreement with DRC for compliance with repatriation norms and speed up Angola/DRC / UNHCR tripartite meeting to define the date for the beginning of the repatriation process.

The DRC citizens abandoned their country to be a refugee in Angola, due to the extreme and generalized violence caused by ethnical and political tensions that hit this African nation in 2017