Repatriation of Congolese refugees from Angola to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
• The first convoy of the organized voluntary repatriation departed from Lóvua settlement on 9 October at 9am, in the direction of Nachiri, Kasai Province, DRC.
• 218 refugees (56 families) were part of this first convoy.
• The voluntary repatriation was facilitated by UNHCR and transported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) from Lóvua settlement through Nachiri border to Mungamba, a transit center in DRC.
• UNHCR partners provided the following assistance to refugees.
- Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) provided hot meals and community mobilization;
- Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) provided WASH and shelter assistance;
- Medicos del Mundo (MDM) provided medical and MHPSS assistance. Their ambulance also accompanied the convoy until the border.
- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) tagged the luggage of the refugees and accompanied the convoy to the Mungamba.
• 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.
• There were some issues with transportation during this first convoy, due to the heavy rains and bad road conditions. Therefore, it was not possible to organize a convoy during the week of 14 October. Nevertheless, UNHCR Angola and UNHCR DRC decided to contract trucks used by UNHCR DRC, which are more suitable for the challenging roads.
• The next convoy will depart from Lóvua settlement on Tuesday, 22 October in the direction of the Nachiri border.
• The last spontaneous returnees who were stuck at the Kalamba Mbuji/Tchikolondo border will be relocated to their final destinations early next week. This will enable UNHCR to begin repatriating refugees to Kasai Central.
• As for a timeframe for the organized voluntary repatriation, UNHCR intends to conclude it by the end of November.