Angola Refugees

The Angolan civil war left one and a half million dead with an estimated four million more displaced over its twenty seven year duration.

An entire generation grew up knowing nothing but conflict as the three rival factions raged against each other littering the countryside with landmines and massacring those who would not support them.

Many fled into neighbouring countries such as Zambia where over the years they settled in camps such as the Mayukwayukwa Refugee Settlement in Zambia's western province where they were allowed to work plots

of land as subsistence farmers from where few seem interested in returning home.

In fact a survey by the UNHCR in 2009 found that out of 10,000 Angola refugees there only 251 were interested in returning to Angola. Many reasons were cited from feeling part of Zambia, having married Zambians or simply that they had had children there who saw themselves as Zambians and didn't want their education disrupted.

Some 25,300 Angola refugees still live in Zambia many years after the end of the conflict (at its height 500,000 had fled abroad) despite efforts by Zambia's government to urge them to return home, understandable given Zambia's own levels of poverty and the fact that Zambia is also providing shelter to refugees from the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda.

Today many countries are calling time on the remaining 120,000f refugees from Angola and urging them to return home with their refugee status being revoked over the summer of 2012. Countries including Zambia, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and Botswana have been speeding up repatriation prior to the refugee status deadline expiring. In order to facilitate this return home UNHCR and the Angolan government are offering £120 for each adult and £60 per child leaving refugees camps outside Angola with an additional promise by the Angolan government of land and materials to build homes on their arrival.



 
 
 
 
 
 

Angola Refugees

Angola Refugees

Angola Refugees

Angola Refugees

 


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Angola Refugees

Many of the refugees are returning to Kwando Kubango Province in south-east Angola, one of Angola's already poorest areas where residents rely on subsistence farming as there is no viable industry. The situation in that area is already grim with illiteracy rates as high as 70% in a country placed 148th out of 187 in the HDI (Human Development Index) which is measured by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the World Bank based upon the life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and living standards. This video documentary tells the story of one girl who fled as a refugee to Zambia not knowing of the family she left behind.

Much of this money should be going to repair irrigation systems that were destroyed during the war leading to a decline in agriculture and food production, fuelling rural poverty and also on transport structure such as roads and bridges, also destroyed, that would help farmers to get their limited produce to market.

 
 


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