UN agency to construct new camp for Central African refugees in DRC

21 December 2001

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today announced plans to construct a new camp for persons fleeing from the Central African Republic to the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today announced plans to construct a new camp for persons fleeing from the Central African Republic to the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

"UNHCR will begin airlifting shelter supplies next week from Kinshasa for the construction of shelters for refugees from the Central African Republic at a new site that it has prepared at Mole, 45 kilometres south of Zongo," agency spokesman Kris Janowski told reporters in Geneva. The camp will initially be able to house 10,000 people.

UNHCR and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working at Mole have already built a water system, health and distribution centres as well as classrooms for children, according to the agency. "With the additional supplies, transfers of refugees to the site could begin before the end of the month," Mr. Janowski said.

The agency estimates that some 23,000 Central African people crossed to Zongo and other villages along the Ubangui river following an attempted coup in the Central African Republic last May. "Despite the visit at the beginning of December of a government delegation, and calls to return from President Ange-Félix Patassé, the refugees have so far not indicated a willingness to repatriate," the spokesman observed.

 

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