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Angolan refugees in Namibia

Briefing notes

Angolan refugees in Namibia

26 November 1999

Fighting between government troops and UNITA in southern Angola sent some 2,400 Angolans, most of them women, children and elderly, fleeing to northern Namibia's Kavango region over the past 15 days.

Extremely difficult living conditions exacerbated by the rainy season mean many of the refugees arrive in poor shape and require immediate medical, food and shelter assistance.

In cooperation with the Government of Namibia and local NGOs, UNHCR is on the ground to assist new arrivals. Food is immediately provided and transport is organised for the refugees to the Osire refugee camp in the Otjiwarango region, more than 700 km from the border.

UNHCR and the Government of Namibia have launched a $600,000 appeal to the donor community in Windhoek for the purchase of shelter material and to improve facilities and assistance for refugees in the Osire camp.

The Osire camp is currently hosting 5,000 refugees, 95 percent of them Angolans. Angola has an estimated 1.7 million internally displaced people in addition to some 5,000 refugees in Namibia; 43,000 in DR Congo and 32,000 in Zambia. We fear these numbers could increase dramatically with the recent upsurge in fighting.