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Zambia, Rwanda to discuss repatriation of refugees

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Lusaka, Zambia (PANA) - A meeting involving Zambian and Rwandan government officials as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is scheduled in Kigali next week to discuss the repatriation of more than 5,000 Rwandan refugees living in Zambia.
The Zambian commissioner for refugees Jacob Mpepo said in Lusaka Tuesday that the concerned parties are expected to sign an agreement to establish "a tripartite commission" to oversee the repatriation process.

"It is the tripartite commission that will oversee implementation arrangements including dates on which the repatriation exercise may be undertaken," Mpepo told PANA in the Zambian capital.

The permanent secretary for the ministry of home affairs Peter Mumba will lead the Zambian delegation to the meeting from 15-16 January.

Rwandan refugees are expected to return home following the improvement of social conditions within the country.

Other Rwandan refugees have also been voluntarily repatriated from Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where a large number of Rwandan Hutu refugees had fled after the 1994 genocide.

Zambia currently hosts 270,000 refugees, including about 5,000 from Rwanda.

On 28 November 2002, Zambia had signed another tripartite agreement with Angola and the UNHCR for the voluntary repatriation of 250,000 refugees due to start in May this year.

Pan African News Agency
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