10 December 2012

Zambia: More Refugees Flee DRC Fighting

Photo: Kate Holt/IRIN

THE number of refugees entering Zambia from the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) into Luapula Province has risen to more 900, Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba has said.

The refugees are running away from that country to seek solace in Zambia because of intense fighting between the DRC forces and a rebel group known as Mai Mai.

Mr Mwamba, who was accompanied by Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu, Deputy Home Affairs Minister Nixon Chilangwa and several senior defence personnel at the weekend, visited Kirwa Island on a fact-finding mission to assess the refugees' situation.

The minister told journalists that the number of refugees at Kirwa Island in Nchelenge was 809 while Chiengi District was hosting more than 170.

Scores of refugees were lodging in classrooms at Kirwa Island. In Chiengi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had provided them with tents.

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