Angolan refugees return from Namibia

A refugee camp. Angolan refugees who had been living in Namibia for over 20 years have been handed over to the Luanda Government as part of the tripartite voluntary repatriation. FILE | AFRICA REVIEW 

Angolan refugees who had been living in Namibia for over 20 years have been handed over to the Luanda Government as part of the tripartite voluntary repatriation.

Just last week, a group of 141 Angolans, who had been staying at Namibia’s Osire refugee camp, also left for their country.

That was the first group of Angolans to be repatriated through the Katwitwi border post, while three groups consisting of over 800 refugees had already gone home through Namibia’s Ohangwena Region, to the Namacunde transit centre in the southern region.

Kavango Regional Governor Maurus Nekaro exchanged documents with the Vice-Governor of the Kuando-Kubango Province in Angola, Mr Pedro Camelo, signifying the handing-over of the refugees.

The voluntary repatriation, of mostly women and children, was witnessed by the UNHCR Country Representative, Mr Lawrence Oba Mgbangson.

Peace

Dr Mgbangson thanked Namibia for having assisted the refugees, especially with the provision of medical care and education.

He said the Namibian Government had successfully protected the rights of refugees, as prescribed in the UNHCR Convention.

About 3,200 Angolan refugees have registered to be repatriated.

Meanwhile, Mr Camelo reminded the refugees that their country was undergoing reconstruction after a long civil war.

He indicated that peace had been restored and the returnees should actively contribute to the development of the country once they were successfully integrated.

The Commissioner of Refugees in Namibia, Mr Nkrumah Mushelenga, said the refugees received a dignified welcome at the reception centre at the Kayila Village.

The final repatriation is slated for June 27.

Close to 5,000 refugees from Angola were still in Namibia even after repatriation of 15,000 others between 2002 and 2007.

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