Lunda Norte: Voluntary repatriation of refugees ends

Dundo – The process of voluntary and spontaneous repatriation of refugees from the DR Congo, who were sheltered at the Lovua camp, in the north-eastern Luanda Norte Province since May 2017, has ended with the return home of about 14,724 Congolese citizens.

The voluntary repatriation process started last August 19, when a group of refugees unilaterally decided to return to the country of origin voluntarily and spontaneously.

The Angolan government, despite having been caught by surprise, has promptly created the logistical conditions to support the voluntary repatriation process, thus mitigating the difficulties of refugees when scores of them were walking towards the border.

According to recent data, among those who voluntarily returned home are included nearly 8,000 children and over 2000 women.

Meanwhile, the organised repatriation programme is to start on 18 September, as agreed by the governments of Angola, DR Congo and the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The head of the UNHCR office in Lunda Norte Province, Daniel Roger Tam, has told ANGOP that currently it is underway the registration process of the refugee families that are to join the organised repatriation process.

In 2017, thousands of Congolese citizens had to flee their country following the rise of political tension and ethnic conflicts in that neighbouring state in the first semester of that year, which caused a great influx of refugees into the Angolan territory.

Source: Angola Press News Agency