28 January 2013

Zambia: More DRC Refugees Enter Zambia

THE influx of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has continued, prompting the Zambian Government to dispatch more officers to assess the situation.

Personnel from the office of the Commissioner of Refugees under the Home Affairs Ministry have been dispatched to Luapula Province along with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) officers to assess the influx of refugees.

Asylum seekers are flocking to Kilwa Island, Chisenga Island in Nchelenge and Chienge because of fighting between that country's army and a militia group called Mai Mai.

Home Affairs head of public relations, Moses Suwali said in a statement yesterday that the officers may relocate the refugees to Maheba Refugee Settlement in Solwezi.

At Kilwa Island, about 40 refugees were interviewed on Saturday and would today be ferried to the mainland in Nchelenge in readiness for relocation to Maheba.

"Other officers have been sent to Chisenga Island and Chienge District to verify the number of refugees as well as interview them, though the initial information received has revealed that there are about 20 and 23 refugees at Chisenga Island and Chienge, respectively," he said.

Mr Suwali said 11 other refugees were already on Nchelenge mainland and were willing to be shifted to Maheba.

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