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Angolans flee to Democratic Republic of the Congo

Briefing notes

Angolans flee to Democratic Republic of the Congo

25 July 2000

The number of Angolan refugees fleeing Lunda Norte Province and crossing to the Kahemba area of Bandundu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo has increased to about 200 a day in recent weeks. UNHCR now estimates that there are about 12,500 refugees settled in four scattered sites in the area - Kulindji, Chifwameso, Mwa-Mushiko and the newest, Bindu. Among them, some 3,000 have arrived in the past six weeks and 5,000 since March. UNHCR has been working at the sites since 1998, assisting the refugees with shelter, medical assistance and food. However, there is an urgent need for more shelter, as people are camping under trees. Medical assistance and food are also in short supply.

Logistics are very difficult in the region because of bad roads and there are about 30 roadblocks set up by the DRC army on the roads from Kahemba. UNHCR has set up a small office in Kahemba to intensify its assistance to the region. Around a dozen trucks are delivering food and non-food items each month, and it takes them approximately ten to 15 days to make the trip. A UNHCR mission has been visiting Bindu and Kulindji since Saturday to assess conditions in those sites and will be visiting Chifwameso before returning to Kinshasa on Wednesday.