Zambia bears the burden of Congolese refugees

Over 3,000 asylum-seekers from the DR Congo have been received in Zambia since January 1, 2017, government and UN officials said.

The officials said the single largest entry was over 5000 refugees on a single a day.

Zambia's Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo said the new arrivals were in addition to a sporadic and continuous stream that has characterised refugee inflows from the neighbouring DRC into Zambia over the past three years.

A head-count

UNHCR Representative to Zambia Pierrine Aylara said the agency was conducting a head-count to ascertain the exact figures as the new arrivals entering through different un-manned border points.

Zambia and DRC share a long border, making it easy for the Congolese fleeing from violence to cross over.

DR Congo has several flashpoints including the central Kasai Province, where violence erupted last September after the killing of a tribal chieftain known as the Kamwina Nsapu.

The authority

Nsapu rebelled against the authority of President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa and its local representatives.

Several Congolese have also sought refuge in Angola and Tanzania.

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