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Angolan and Congolese arrivals in Zambia

Briefing notes

Angolan and Congolese arrivals in Zambia

11 December 2001

The raging conflict in Angola continues to drive new flows of refugees into Zambia, mainly to the country's Western Province. Since the beginning of December, a total of 1,184 Angolan refugees have crossed into Western Province. As with last month's arrivals of several thousand Angolans, the new refugees are being transferred to Nangweshi Camp, south-west of Zambia, on a temporary basis. There, they are housed at a transit site outside the main camp.

In the last three months, an estimated 6,700 Angolan refugees have arrived at Nangweshi and are being assisted at the temporary site. Transfers from the border are organised daily. African Humanitarian Action, UNHCR's implementing partner for the health sector at Nangweshi Camp, immunises the new arrivals against tuberculosis, measles, polio and other communicable diseases before they are taken to the temporary site. Angolans now total 214,524, out of the 274,000 refugees currently hosted by Zambia.

Meanwhile, Congolese refugees arriving in Northern Zambia, albeit in small numbers, report isolated skirmishes and mobilisation of troops from both the Government and rebel forces in the area of Fizi, in Eastern Congo. The persisting instability in Eastern Congo over the months has caused many civilians to flee to Zambia, which now hosts a total of 50,000 Congolese refugees. After screening and other procedures, the refugees spend an average of three days at transit centres before they are transferred to the camps in Northern Zambia. Depending on how the situation in Eastern Congo evolves, especially the Inter-Congolese Dialogue, arrivals are expected to continue at the present rate of at least 250 per week.