Angola: Government Dissuades Congolese Refugees From Walking Out

Dundo — The Angolan authorities have provided all necessary aid to refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) located in Angola, although some unilaterally decided to walk out of the fields they had been accommodated, said on Sunday a source familiar with process.

At least 8,000 out of the overall 23,600 refugees located in Lóvua, eastern Lunda Norte, decided last Saturday, to walk out of Angola.

From Dundo city, the refugees walked on foot straight to the border with DRC in an overall distance of 80 to 90 kilometers.

According to the source, the Angolan government is negotiating with remaining refugees, more than 90 percent of the total, to dissuade them from returning to DRC without supportive logistical condition.

According to ANGOP source, the recommendation for not abruptly leave Lóvua fields has been given by the parts involved in the repatriation process, namely Angola, DRC and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

To recall that in July the government of the eastern Lunda Norte (Angola) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) were assessing the repatriation process of over 20,000 refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) accommodated in that region since May 2017.

The negotiations arose due to the fact that in June this year, 85 percent of the refugees expressed willingness to return home saying that the causes that forced them to abandon their country no longer existed.

However, the meeting decided that the Angolan authorities needed to reach soon an agreement with DRC for compliance with repatriation norms and speed up Angola/DRC / UNHCR tripartite meeting to define the date for the beginning of the repatriation process.

The DRC citizens abandoned the country to be a refugee in Angola, due to the extreme and generalized violence generated by ethnical and political tensions that hit this African nation in 2017.

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