In the past two weeks, IOM has transported 2,418 of the 10,000 Angolan refugees currently at the Zambian border. As reported last week, this operation, begun on 1 March, will transport the refugees on the 126-kilometre trip from Sinjembela to Nangweshi. At the moment bad road conditions are slowing down the operation IOM trucks have transported 20 tons of WFP/CARE food to Sinjembela to feed those waiting for transport. An IOM doctor and two nurses are providing medical screening and assistance in Sinjembela.
The Zambian Government estimates that more than 21,000 Angolan refugees have arrived in Zambia since November 1999 due to an upsurge in fighting between Angolan government forces and UNITA. Zambia hosts more than 200,000 refugees, the majority of whom are Angolans. Many of the new arrivals are currently scattered along approximately 90 Km, just across the border, in the Sinjembela region.