from Jean Kasongo in Kinshasa, DRC
Thousands of Congolese in Angola are returning
home where fighting among armed groups has lessened and security
conditions have improved.
They are going back to the Kasai region where conflict had uprooted them
In total, more than 4 000 refugees are expected to be assisted to return
home in the coming weeks.
Already, 12 000 Congolese refugees, including nearly 7 000 children,
have spontaneously returned home from the Lovua settlement in Angola’s
Lunda Norte province.
Charlie Yaxley, the spokesperson of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR), said despite conflicts easing, many of those
returning spontaneously were facing extremely challenging living
“Although fighting amongst armed groups has calmed, some refugees are
still uncertain about the condition in which they will find their
homes,” Yaxley said.
The envoy said some were unwilling to return to their homes and were
moving elsewhere, as they feared a return of inter-ethnic violence.
Public infrastructure such as schools and health centres badly damaged
during multiple periods of fighting and are yet to be repaired.
“Existing facilities lack the capacity to meet all of the needs of
returnees,” Yaxley said.
Kasai is one of the most volatile regions in the Democratic Republic of
UNHCR needs US$150 million (R2,27 billion) needed to help people
affected by the DRC crises. It has secured over half of the needed
– CAJ News