Repatriation of Congolese refugees from Angola to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
• The fifth convoy of the organized voluntary repatriation to DRC departed from Lóvua settlement on 13 November 2019 at 8:30, in the direction of Kalamba Mbuji, Kasai Central Province, DRC.
• The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) utilized four passenger buses and one spare bus to transport the refugees to the first waypoint where refugees changed and entered six trucks. Three trucks were utilized for luggage. It was necessary to exchange buses for trucks for the second half of the journey to the border due to the road conditions.
• The route to the Kasai Central border at Tchicolondo has one waypoint in Angola, which is a stopping point to enable refugees to have a small break. There is also a transit center near the border.
• The convoy arrived at the transit center at 18:10. Due to the long distance to the border, refugees and humanitarian staff spent the night at the transit center. The following day on 14 November, refugees crossed the border to DRC at 8:45. However, only two luggage trucks crossed with the convoy as the third truck broke down. But the truck crossed to border later after it was repaired.
• 200 refugees were part of this convoy including 128 children.
• The Resident Coordinator for the United Nations in Angola, Pier Paolo Balladelli, took part in the convoy until the first waystation just after the city of Dundo and returned to Dundo to brief local media with the interim Representative of UNHCR in Angola.
• UNHCR partners provided the following assistance to refugees.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) tagged the luggage of the refugees and accompanied the convoy to Kalamba Mbuji, the transit center in Kasai Central, DRC.
Medicos del Mundo (MDM) provided medical and MHPSS assistance. Their ambulance also accompanied the convoy to the border.
Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) provided WASH and shelter assistance;
• Government of Angola (GoA) officials were present at Lóvua settlement and, together with UNHCR registration and IOM, checked the Voluntary Repatriation Forms (VRF) as well as final boarding of all passengers on the trucks.
• So far, 1,439 people have been repatriated to DRC