Dozens of Angolans Return

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By Chrisipin Inambao WINDHOEK Scores of Angolan returnees from Nangweshi Refugee Camp in the western province of Zambia are being registered for repatriation after they recently entered Katima Mulilo in Caprivi, says UNHCR and Home Affairs and Immigration. The returnees are among tens of thousands of Angolans who sought shelter in Zambia following a savage and protracted civil war in their country that pitted Angolan government forces against the then Unita movement of late rebel leader Jonas Savimbi. Joyce Mends-Cole, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)’s representative in Windhoek and Nkrumah Mushelenga, the Commissioner of Refugees in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, confirmed the arrival of the Angolans. Mends-Cole told New Era that a joint team comprising of Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration and UNHCR officials has been dispatched to Katima to assess the situation. Mushelenga said by Wednesday 31 of the 77 arrivals had registered to be airlifted to Minongue from where they would be transported to various settlements in Angola, while another 46 returnees have registered at Angola House in Katima to be repatriated by road through Rundu via Calai in Angola. He said more Angolans are expected from Nangweshi, one of the biggest refugee camps in Zambia where thousands of refugees from strife-stricken countries are sheltered. Home Affairs and Immigration, the UNHCR in Namibia, the Angolan Consulate in Rundu, Africa Humanitarian Africa (AHA) and the UNHCR in Angola are coordinating the repatriation of the newly arrived Angolans, said Mushelenga. He said the airlifting is expected to start today while the repatriation by road would take place starting yesterday. Hundreds of Angolans have also participated in a voluntary repatriation from Osire Refugee Camp where they have been staying while others are still undecided. Since the death of Savimbi peace has gradually returned to Angola where many people lost their lives while others were maimed and tens of thousands displaced.

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