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06.08.2022 00:57 News >> 300 Congolese Refugees Repatriated From Zambia Arrive In Congo

300 Congolese Refugees Repatriated From Zambia Arrive In Congo

Group first in voluntary refugee repatriation program.

A group of 300 refugees arrived Friday in Congo's Pweto area after being repatriated earlier this week from Zambia.
They departed from the Mantapala settlement in Nchelenge, a district in Zambia's Luapula province, on a two-day journey to Pweto in Congo's Huat-Katanga province, on a voluntary repatriation process which was resumed by the UNHCR (UN refugee agency) and the Zambian and Congolese governments.
The first phase of the repatriation program began in the last quarter of 2021 but it was suspended in January because of the deterioration of road conditions caused by heavy rains.
Pweto territory administrator Derby Kanganyoka thanked Zambian authorities for how they took care of the Congolese nationals.
"I also wish to assure you that you stay back home will be safe because the issues of war that you fled have been resolved," Kanganyoka said at a reception ceremony as he expressed gratitude to President Felix Tshisekedi and his Zambian counterpart, Hakainde Hichilema, for facilitating the successful repatriation.
Zambia's Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs and Internal Dickson Matembo said the Mantapala settlement is host to 18,700 Congolese refugees, who are among 103,028 refugees, asylum seekers, and former refugees hosted in Zambia.
"The voluntary repatriation is being carried out under a tripartite agreement signed in 2006 by UNHCR and the Zambian and Congolese governments. So, about 10,900 Congolese refugees have expressed a desire to return to their country by December this year," added Matembo.
More than 18,000 Congolese crossed the border into northern Zambia in search of protection after they fled political and ethnic violence in the southeast region in 2017. -



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