Repatriation of Angolans from the Congos
UNHCR today repatriated 277 Angolans from the Tshela sites in Bas Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Another 80 Angolans from Pointe Noire in the Congo Republic were scheduled to be returned to the enclave of Cabinda in Angola Saturday. Some of the returnees have been in exile since they fled fighting for independence in Cabinda 25 years ago. The 277 returnees were transferred in eight trucks from the sites to a transit centre in Boma (DRC), before an onward journey back to Angola. Those going back will receive a returnee assistance kit which includes plastic sheeting, food, kitchen utensils, corrugated iron sheets and plywood. They will also have a plot of land allocated to them by the local authorities.
This is the first repatriation to Cabinda since late 1999 when some 800 Angolans voluntarily repatriated with UNHCR assistance, after assessment missions to their home areas had found that they were safe to return to.
The Tsheba region is still hosting some 1,490 refugees from Cabinda and there are 20,000 more in Pointe-Noire. There are also a total of 104,000 assisted refugees from other provinces of Angola in the DRC, of which some 40,000 are in the Bas-Congo area.