17 January 2013

Angola: Continued Attention to Children Reaffirmed

Luanda — The minister of Social Welfare, João Baptista Kussumua, said Thursday in Luanda that the Government will continue paying a special attention to children by improving their education cares.

Baptista Kussumua was speaking about the situation of the Angolan refugees that return home, during a meeting with MPs convened to discuss the State Budget for 2013 within the specialised commission of the National Assembly (Angolan Parliament).

The minister said the attention will ensure the children dignity so that they join compulsory education.

According to João Baptista Kussumua, the country has more than 500 institutions prepared to provide children with information and stimulate their capacities, enabling them to join school with some knowledge.

As to the process of repatriation, the minister said several operations were carried out in the 2004/2007 period, under a programme jointly approved and organised by the Government of Angola and United Nations.

He added that in an operation involving 500,000 people, 410,000 reached the country, which was considered satisfactory.

He explained that some refugees chose not to return to Angola, fearing the return of the war after the elections.

The minister added that the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) explained that the reasons that forced people out of the country had ceased, but the refugees still kept worried and now want to return home.

Baptista Kussumua said that as a result the Government had to reopen the process in 2011.

"We expected to repatriate 60,000 people as indicated by the United Nations and host countries, but we managed to repatriate about 23,000 only until December 2012," he stressed.

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