"Sinjembela is empty. There may still be pockets of self-settled refugees and we will maintain the capacity to collect them if and when they come forward," UNHCR spokesman Dominik Bartsch said.
UNHCR described the operation to move the refugees the 120 km from Sinjembela, through waterlogged and difficult terrain, to the new camp at Nangweshi as a "major accomplishment". The current population at Nangweshi stands at 9,000 people.
However, logistical obstacles continue to put a strain on the relief operation, UNHCR said. For the past week, the Kalongola ferry across the Zambezi river has been out of action, severing the main means of delivering relief supplies to Nangweshi.
"We are very grateful that the Zambian
army allowed relief agencies the use of their amphibian trucks, with which
we can now ferry the most essential relief items across the Zambezi river,"
UNHCR's Acting Representative said in a statement.
Meanwhile, humanitarian sources told IRIN that the security situation along the Angolan-Zambian border has eased. Angolan government forces had been striking at UNITA rebel bases close to the border, prompting the exodus of refugees into Zambia, many of whom are believed to be sympathetic to UNITA. Media reports said Angolan forces have paused in their military campaign to reorganise.
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