Angola: sharp increase in flight to Zambia
There has been a sharp increase in the number of Angolans fleeing fresh fighting in the eastern Moxico province for neighbouring Zambia. Last week alone, more than a thousand people went through five designated transit centres - a fourfold increase. The new refugees are mostly women and children and arrive in poor condition. They receive food and other supplies upon arrival at the transit centres before being transferred to the Meheba refugee settlement, which is located near Solwezi in the North-Western Province. The settlement covers an area of 729 square kilometres and has recently been extended by another 100 square kilometres to accommodate the new arrivals who are allocated a plot of land as well as farming tools and seeds. The camp is presently holding close to 40,000 refugees, some of whom have been there since 1971. Another 200 people arrived at Mayukwayukwa settlement in Zambia's Western Province, which was first established in 1966. The number of refugees there more than tripled this year to reach 14,000 following a new influx from Angola. Zambia is now hosting more than 220,000 refugees in total, most of them from Angola. Renewed fighting in the region has caused some 30,000 Angolans to seek refuge in Zambia during the past nine months.