More than 4,000 refugees are expected to return to the Democratic Republic of the Congo from Angola as security in the Kasai region continues to improve.
According to the United Nations refugee agency, a few hundred people are scheduled to return as part of a voluntary repatriation program set to begin later this week.
The repatriation program comes following the signing of a tripartite agreement between the UNHCR and the governments of Angola and DR Congo on voluntary returns.
The agency says that since 18 August, some 12,000 Congolese refugees, including nearly 7,000 children, have spontaneously returned home from the Lovua settlement in Angola’s Lunda Norte province.
While the number returning refuges continues to grow, some are still uncertain about the conditions in which they will find their homes. Others are unwilling to return to their homes and are moving elsewhere, as they fear a return of inter-ethnic violence.
The UNHCR on Tuesday called for financial support from the international community to humanitarian organisations and to the GR Congo government, to create sustainable conditions for returnees.
The agency says it has only received 57 percent of the US$150 million needed to support the people affected by the crisis in the country.