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Minister reaffirms support for DRC refugees

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 17:13 - Updated Tue, 20 Aug 2019 10:14

Minister of Defence, Salviano de Jesus Cerqueira

Photo: Henri Celso

Dundo - The Minister of National Defense, Salviano Cerqueira, said Monday that aid to refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the Lóvua Shelter Center, province of Lunda Norte, is unavoidable.

Speaking to the press at the end of a visit to find out the basic conditions of the center, he reaffirmed the commitment of the Angolan authorities to facilitate the voluntary return to the DRC of 18,871 refugees, out of a total of 22,684 sheltered in the camp.

He informed that he will ask the President of the Republic, through the Minister of State and Head of the Security House, for the necessary support to evacuate the refugees to the border.

Since last Sunday, hundreds of refugees, including children, women and the elderly, have left the reception center set up in May 2017.

Some settled along the main road and others walked about 20 kilometers on foot to Lóvua municipal headquarters, waiting for transport.

With this act, the refugee camp was partially uninhabited.

The decision of the Congolese is contrary to the recommendation of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which expects its repatriation from next September.