Angola + 1 more

Namibia: More Angolan refugees

JOHANNESBURG, 31 January (IRIN) - The arrival of a 65 Angolans last Friday has brought to just over 8,000 the number of refugees now in Namibia who have fled recent fighting in southern Angola between government forces and UNITA rebels, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Hesdy Rathling, UNHCR's Senior Liaison Officer in Namibia, told IRIN that although the number of Angolan refugees moving south to Namibia was not "as dramatic" as those moving east into Zambia. "we are still receiving people all the time, and we are still having to keep a close watch".

Rathling said UNHCR had based a team in the northern border town of Rundu to help screen those crossing over the border. He said the government had reiterated its "full support" for UNHCR's refugee programme in Namibia. Once screened, the refugees are transported by road to a camp well away from the border zone at Osire, north of the capital Windhoek.

He said that the government estimated there were an additional 10,000 Angolan refugees in Namibia who had settled "spontaneously" in the country's urban centres or in the border districts.

Tension in the border districts has increased since last month when Namibia allowed the Angolan government to use its territory to launch attacks against rebel UNITA strongholds in the south of Angola.


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