UN cries foul as Angola expels 10 000 Congolese

2010-03-11 10:13

ANGOLA has expelled more than 10 000 Democratic Republic of Congo

nationals since January despite the two countries’ agreement to suspend

repatriations, the United Nations said yesterday.


“From January 1 to the end of last month, more than 10 200

Congolese expelled from Angola were registered in and around Kamako,” in the

central DR Congo province of Kasai Occidental, according to a statement released

in Kinshasa by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

(OCHA).


“These expulsions have been accompanied by rapes, torture, intimate

searches conducted without any hygiene precautions and extortion of belongings,”

the statement said.


Some 366 rapes of women and girls have been recorded, OCHA said,

and there are reports of even more.


A UN mission travelled to Kamako, on the Congo-Angola border, late

last month to assess the humanitarian situation faced by the expelled people and

local communities and to check allegations of violence, OCHA said.


Since 2004, a mass expulsion campaign called “Diamond”, aimed at

tackling the illicit trade in precious gems, has seen more than 400 000 illegal

immigrants, mostly Congolese, expelled from Angola’s mining regions.


In response to these expulsions, early last October, Congo began

throwing out Angolans living there – often legitimately – since Angola’s civil

war.


Later the same month, Congolese President Joseph Kabila and his

Angolan counterpart Eduardo Dos Santos decided to suspend expulsions between the

two countries.

 

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