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UN Agency Monitors Mass Expulsion Of Congolese

UN Agency Monitors Mass Expulsion Of Congolese Living In Angola

New York, Aug 22 2008 5:10PM

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is probing the mass expulsion of Congolese nationals from northern Angola, with as many as 85,000 people being forced across the border by authorities in the past three months alone.

UNFPA said yesterday that it had launched a joint project with the non-governmental organization (NGO) Caritas Congo to monitor the movements of the expelled population. A contingency plan to help the affected Congolese as they return to their homeland is also being prepared by the humanitarian community.

Nationals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), many of whom have lived and worked – often illegally – in neighbouring Angola for years, have been expelled by Angolan authorities in large numbers since late 2003.

Since the current wave of expulsions began in late May this year, around 85,000 people have been sent over the border, mainly to Kasaï Occidental and Bandundu provinces in the DRC. This figure includes over 20,000 Congolese in the past month.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that there is insufficient infrastructure in the returning areas of the DRC to handle the sudden influx. It added that another 80,000 Congolese may be affected in the coming months.

ends

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