UN helps dozens of refugees return home to DR of Congo after decades in Angola

20 June 2005

Reversing the usual refugee flow, the United Nations refugee agency has repatriated more than 40 people to their homes in the western Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) after they had lived in Angola for nearly 30 years.

"Most of the returnees were older. They were tired of living in another country and wanted to return home," said a protection officer from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Angola.

On the 15 June convoy were 42 Congolese refugees from the DRC's Kisenge area, who had been living since 1977 in the Sungi refugee settlement near Angola's capital, Luanda, after fleeing the violence in their country, UNHCR said.

The returnees flew over 1,000 kilometres from Luanda to Luau in eastern Angola, and then travelled by road, crossing into DRC at the Dilolo border point. After the day-long journey, returnees received blankets, jerry cans and mats and underwent medical checks, it said.

UNHCR said it has also been repatriating DRC refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) since last October and from the Republic of the Congo since April.


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