Angola/DRC - Congolese Refugees to Start Returning Home in March

Photo: CR / John Wessels
Congolese family fleeing ethnic violence in Kamonia, Kasai province

Kananga — The authorities of Angola's north-eastern Lunda Norte Province last Saturday in Kananga, chief town of DRC's Kasai Central Province, received guarantees of political stability that will enable the return home, as from March, of the over 31,000 Congolese refugees who sought shelter in Angola until the year 2017.

This guarantee comes on a memorandum signed by Lunda Norte governor, Ernesto Muangala, and his Congolese counterparts, namely Justin Milonga Milonga (host of the meeting), Marc Manyanga Ndambo (Kassai), Richard Muyej Mangez Mans (Lualaba) and Emery Kaputu Vita (Kwango).

The four Congolese provinces share a 770-kilometre boarder with Lunda Norte Province.

On the occasion, governor Ernesto Muangala defended seriousness in the fulfilment of the agreement, whose implementation has already been postponed three times. "Let's hope that the protocol to be signed today does become dead letter. Let's move from theory to practice", he said, further defending a migratory control in accordance with the international norms.

He also deemed it a "silent invasion" the way foreigners enter illegally in Angola, a great number of them being from DR Congo, who normally settle in Angola's diamond-rich areas (such as Lunda Norte), having appealed for combined efforts of both countries' authorities to discourage such phenomenon.

The protocol also includes agreements in the domains of Higher Education, courses of Portuguese, French and Lingala, as well as partnerships for the research of Queen Lueje-A-Nkonde and the figure of the Thibinda Ilunga hunter.

During the two days of talks, it was also finalised agreements in the areas of health, agriculture, cattle-breeding, fisheries, culture, tourism, youth and sports, trade, industry, mineral resources, infrastructures, technical services, transports, traffic and mobility, family and gender equality.

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