Angola: Covid-19 - Repatriation of DRC Refugees Suspended

Dundo — The process of organized and voluntary repatriation of Congolese refugees back to DRC, which began in October 2019, is suspended due to the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) in this neighbouring country.

Official data indicate that the Democratic Republic of Congo has recorded more than 30 positive cases of Covid-19 and one dead. According Omotola Akindipe, spokesman of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Angola's north-eastern Lunda Norte Province, who spoke to Angop on Wednesday, the suspension of the process also results from the temporary closure of the borders of Nachiri and Tchicolondo, in the context of pandemic prevention measures. He informed that up to February of the current year, 2,912 refugees were repatriated, of which 581 men, 548 women and 1,783 children, in the towns of Tchicapa and Kananga (DRC).

The total number of citizens of the DRC, at the time welcomed in Angola, in the province of Lunda Norte, in particular, reached 35,000. Of these, about 23,684 were taken to the Lóvua refugee camp. The migration of these citizens has been by the widespread violence resulting from political and ethnic tensions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in May 2017.

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