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Angolan Refugees In Zambia Have Final Chance

Angolan Refugees In Zambia Have Final Chance Under UN Programme

The voluntary repatriation of Angolan refugees from Zambia has resumed, providing them with a final chance to return with the assistance of the United Nations refugee agency.

The first group of 45 refugees went in a UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR><"">UNHCR) convoy by road to Ndola airport on Tuesday before being airlifted to Angola.

Both UNHCR and the Zambian Government emphasized that the exercise will close in December, ending the organized voluntary repatriation of Angolan refugees from Zambia.

With only two to three months left before the start of the rainy season, UNHCR has begun road repairs on camp access roads and transit centres. An information campaign is being conducted in all camps to stress to refugees that this is their last opportunity to be assisted under organized repatriation.

Surveys undertaken in several camps in May indicated that some 14,400 refugees wished to return to Angola this year. Since the voluntary repatriation from Zambia started in 2003, more than 63,300 Angolan refugees have been repatriated from refugee settlements in Zambia to Angola. An estimated 29,000 Angolan refugees remain in camps and settlements in Zambia.


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