Friday, 17 June 2011

VOLUNTARY REPATRIATION EXERCISE OF ANGOLAN REFUGEES FROM ZAMBIA RESUMES FOUR YEARS AFTER IT WAS SUSPENDED

THE VOLUNTARY REPATRIATION EXERCISE OF ANGOLAN REFUGEES FROM ZAMBIA HAS RESUMED FOUR YEARS AFTER IT WAS SUSPENDED WITH 81 REFUGEES SAFELY ARRIVING IN THEIR COUNTRY YESTERDAY.
UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES’ COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE JOYCE MENDS-COLE DESCRIBED THE RE-LAUNCH OF THE ORGANIZED REPATRIATION AS A WATERSHED OCCASION MARKING THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE REFUGEE SITUATION FOR ANGOLANS.
THE FIRST PHASE OF ORGANIZED ANGOLAN VOLUNTARY REPATRIATION W2AS UNDERTAKEN BETWEEN 2003 AND 2007 DURING WHICH A TOTAL OF 74, 000 REFUGEES WERE ASSISTED TO RETURN HOME FROM ZAMBIA’S CAMPS AND SETTLEMENTS AND IN ADDITION, ACCORDING TO REPORTS FROM ANGOLA, MANY SELF SETTLED REFUGEES FROM ZAMBIA ALSO RETURNED TO THAT COUNTRY DURING THAT PERIOD.
THE UNHCR SAYS THE RECOMMENCEMENT OF THE ORGANIZED REPATRIATION WAS AGREED AT THE FIFTH TRIPARTITE MEETING BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF ZAMBIA, THE EXECUTIVE OF ANGOLA AND THE UNHCR HELD IN LIVINGSTONE FROM 1 TO 2 APRIL 2011 ON THE REPATRIATION OF ANGOLAN REFUGEES.
IT IS REPORTED THAT EVEN AFTER THE OFFICIAL END OF THE ORGANIZED VOLUNTARY REPATRIATION IN 2007, ANGOLAN REFUGEES CONTINUED TO RETURN HOME FROM THE SETTLEMENT OF MAHEBA IN NORTH WESTERN AND MAYUKWAYUKWA IN WESTERN PROVINCES UNDER THE INDIVIDUAL SPONTANEOUS REPATRIATION.
THE UNHCR HAS STATED THAT THE ORGANIZED ANGOLAN VOLUNTARY REPATRIATION PROGRAMME WILL LAST FOR FOUR MONTHS, UP TO THE END OF SEPTEMBER, AS WEATHER CONDITIONS THEREAFTER WILL NOT PERMIT THIS EXERCISE TO CONTINUE.
A TOTAL OF 2,500 ANGOLANS RETURNED HOME BETWEEN 2007 AND 2010 UNDER THE EXERCISE AND SOME 25,000 ANGOLANS IN THE TWO SETTLEMENTS, URBAN AREAS AND SELF-SETTLED STILL RESIDE IN ZAMBIA.

PUBLISHED BY AUGUSTINE

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