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Angolans arrive in Congo

Angolans arrive in Congo

More Angolans fleeing renewed fighting in their country arrive in neighbouring Congo as UNHCR begins a registration process.
14 August 2001
West Timor: IDPs in Kupang, near GOR sports stadium.

GENEVA, Aug. 14 (UNHCR) - The U.N. Refugee agency said Tuesday its field staff had begun registering more than 6,000 Angolans who fled renewed fighting and crossed into the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo, as smaller numbers of civilians continued to arrive.

A total of 6,118 persons were registered by Monday and they will be transferred to villages further away from the common frontier. Agency staff visited three sites proposed by the government which can accommodate 6,000 people and is 50 kilometres from the frontier. UNHCR will deploy teams to the new sites where the refugees are expected to get 0.5 hectares of land to help support themselves.

The latest exodus follows fighting in early August when guerrillas from the UNITA movement attacked the northern Angolan town of Beu and surrounding villages. The arrivals told field staff they had been forced to leave their homes more than a dozen times during years of on-off fighting, but this was the first occasion they had been forced to cross the border.

Staff estimated several dozen Angolans continued to cross the border each day from the war area.

In addition to people already registered, there were another estimated 1,500 refugee dispersed in several border villages.