Shorter airlift to start for Angolans returning from Zambia – UN refugee agency

Shorter airlift to start for Angolans returning from Zambia – UN refugee agency

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Starting next week, the journey home for thousands of Angolan refugees in western Zambia will get shorter following the rehabilitation of an airport near the Zambezi River, the United Nations refugee agency said today.

Although the Nangweshi camp, home to 24,000 refugees, is not very far from the Angolan border, the lack of proper roads on the Angolan side makes it impossible to repatriate them by road and they have had to be transported to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital in the centre of the country, from where they have been airlifted home.

But the rehabilitation of the airport at Mongu, north of Nangweshi across the Zambezi river, is nearing completion and will take over the airlift on 24 August. The last two flights from Lusaka organized by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the inter-governmental International Organization for Migration (IOM) left on Monday.