9,200 Congolese nationals seek refuge in Angola

Angola. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

At least 9,200 Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) nationals were seeking refuge in Angola, Luanda authorities confirmed.

The Congolese were fleeing conflict in the central Kasai region, which has left at least 400 dead.

The violence erupted when the Kinshasa government forces killed a tribal chief and militia leader Kamwina Nsapu.

Shares borders

Nsapu was leading a rebellion against President Joseph Kabila, whose stay in power beyond the mandatory two-five year term limit was also being contested by other parties.

VOA Radio Monday quoted Luanda government officials in Lunda Norte Province saying there were already 3,200 DR Congo nationals at the Mussungue reception centre.

Luanda Norte Province is located 656km north of the capital Luanda, and shares borders with both DRC and Congo-Brazzaville.

DR Congo. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Some 1,400 of the asylum seekers at Mussungue were children, VOA said.

Last month, Angolan authorities closed a border point with the DRC due to the deterioration of the security situation in Kasai Province.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders appealed last month to the international community to support DRC hold peaceful and credible elections.

Lack of progress

The vast country was expected to hold a General Election by the end of 2017 as stipulated in a power-sharing deal reached on the New Year's Eve.

However, the United Nations has criticised the lack of progress towards implementing the deal, which also called for the establishment of a transitional council.

DR Congo's eastern side has been wracked by conflict since 1994, when Hutu militias fled across the border from Rwanda after carrying out a genocide against Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

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