Angola: repatriation plan from South Africa
UNHCR and the governments of South Africa and Angola will today sign a plan of operation for the voluntary repatriation of thousands of Angolan refugees in South Africa. The signing will take place in Pretoria at the first meeting of a tripartite commission that was established at the signing of a formal tripartite agreement between the parties last December.
The voluntary repatriation programme from South Africa to Angola is expected to begin in August of this year. Some 4,000 Angolan refugees in South Africa are expected to return home over an 18-month period. In all, there are some 13,000 Angolan refugees in South Africa, but many have integrated into local society.
On a related subject, our partners at WFP yesterday announced that they are still very worried about an acute funding shortage for the provision of food for nearly 1.4 million Angolans who have already returned to their homes or are scheduled to be repatriated from neighbouring countries. UNHCR joins WFP in urging donors to provide the support necessary to ensure that Angolans can not only go home but stay home.
UNHCR and the Tripartite Commissions with Angola and the respective Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of Congo (RoC), Namibia and Zambia have all met in recent weeks to discuss 2004 returns. Organised repatriation movements are planned to resume in June this year through the corridors established in 2003. The respective dates of resumption will depend primarily on climatic conditions specific to each repatriation region. Throughout the region, UNHCR plans to assist some 145,000 Angolans to return and reintegrate this year.