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DRC: MONUC to begin transfer of Centrafricans

Briefing notes

DRC: MONUC to begin transfer of Centrafricans

9 October 2001

The UN peacekeeping mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) - MONUC - is scheduled on Thursday to begin the transfer of nearly 2,500 former Central African Republic (CAR) soldiers and their families from the north-western DRC riverside town of Zongo to a new site at Bokilio, some 120 km inland. The operation is aimed at separating the soldiers from more than 24,000 civilian CAR refugees who had fled to the DRC in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in the Central African Republic in May. Once the separation is completed, UNHCR will be able to begin the transfer of the civilian refugees from the north-western border areas to a separate site at Mole, more than 40 km from the CAR-DRC frontier.

Local authorities in Zongo have begun house-to-house registration of the former soldiers and their families and are preparing passenger manifests for Thursday's transfer, which will be carried out by MONUC. Many of the former soldiers are living in villages along the Oubangui River, downstream from Zongo. UNHCR has agreed to assist local DRC authorities with site preparation and will provide assistance for the group.

In the meantime, UNHCR is proceeding with site preparations at Mole for the impending transfer of the civilian refugee population from the Zongo area. The relocation of the civilian group is scheduled to begin as soon as the transfer of former soldiers within the CAR refugee population is complete.