UNHCR has been in Angola for 43 years since the signing of the ‘Accord de Siege’ in February 1977. During this time, UNHCR has played an important role in the history of Angola such as leading the repatriation of Angolans who fled the long civil war. With reestablishment of peace in 2002, the Government of Angola asked for UNHCR support to facilitate repatriation of Angolan refugees. After voluntarily repatriation took place, from 2003 until 2015, more than 523,000 Angolan refugees returned, more than half coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). From 2015 to 2016, UNHCR Angola operation focused on urban refugees and asylum seekers. In 2017, influx of refugees fleeing Kasai region in DRC forced the operation to scale up. The Field Office Dundo was established and, eventually, the Lovua Settlement in Lundo Norte. Currently, there are more than 56,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Angola spread over provinces such as Luanda and Lunda Norte. These refugees represent a multitude of countries such as the DRC, Rwanda, Mauritania and others. They are located in several provinces across Angola, including Luanda and Lunda Norte. UNHCR is a key observer of the National Council for Refugees (CNR) and works with several partners on the ground to ensure that refugees and person at risk of statelessness are protected and have access to livelihood and durable solutions.
Refugees from DRC include regular caseload and Kasai caseload. Kasai caseload comprised of 9,870 individuals out of which 7,037 are residing in Lovua refugee settlement while 2,833 individuals are in out of camp settings. They are the refugees originating from Kasai region of DRC who came to Lunda Norte province in Angola as a result of conflict in 2017 and were given Prima Facie refugee status. The regular caseload consists of the remaining population ( 46,778) excluding the 2017 Kasai caseload and comprises of refugees and asylum-seekers who came to Angola as far as 35 years ago. The regular caseload includes urban refugees from different nationalities including Congolese, majority of them settled in Luanda but also in the other 12 provinces.