Her visit coincided with a joint air relief operation by UNHCR and the World Food Programme (WFP) aimed at ensuring food deliveries and transporting the refugees to safer camps away from the Angolan border, UNHCR spokesman Dominic Bartsch told IRIN. The emergency operation which started on Sunday was briefly suspended pending the arrival of a fuel truck. The airlift resumed on Monday.
He said the estimated 5,000 refugees in the Kalabo area would be taken inland to the Majukwajukwa refugee camp. Bartsch said the agency hoped to airlift about 400 refugees a day. Further south, 7,500 people camped near the Sinjembela border town would be moved to a new camp near Sioma. The transfer of the Sinjembela refugees, however, cannot be conducted by air for lack of a landing field in the area, he said.
Fighting across the border between Angolan government forces and UNITA rebels in recent weeks has seen an influx of some 21,000 refugees into Zambia where the total number of Angolans stands at around 160,000.
Ogata, who arrived in Zambia on Sunday, said she agreed with African leaders that the international community was paying less attention to refugees in Africa than in other parts of the world. "But it is not for UNHCR alone to change the situation," she told reporters. "It is up to the whole international community and the industrialised countries".
Contact IRIN-SA (Tel: +27 11 880 4633, e-mail email@example.com) for more information or free subscriptions.
[This item is delivered in the English service of the UN's IRIN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. For further information, free subscriptions, or to change your keywords, contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Web: http://www.reliefweb.int/IRIN . If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer.]
Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2000