Dundo — The Angolan authorities and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will survey the actual number of refugees sheltered in the eastern Lunda Norte Province, in order to create a database to better control them, the secretary of State for Social Action, Lúcio do Amaral, said last Saturday.
The Angolan official, who announced the intention following a meeting with UNHCR representatives, said the measure also aims to assess the current situation of refugees outside Lóvua refugee camp and to learn how many of them intend to remain in Angola.
Local authorities and UNHCR have registered 3,064 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo living outside Lovua camp.
According to Lúcio do Amaral, the aim is to count people in order to know where they are and what they are doing, while necessary conditions for better accommodation are being prepared.
Chrispus Tebid, head of the UNHCR offices in Lunda Norte, said that after the survey, refugees who decide to stay in Angola will be granted refugee status.
In 2019, roughly 1,560 refugees expressed interest in staying in Angola.
The UNHCR resumed the process of voluntary repatriation of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on February 10 after suspending it in November 2019.
Since the onset of the process last October, at least 2,720 people have returned to the DRC.