December 16, 2003

Accord on return of refugees signed with South Africa

A legal accord for voluntary repatriation of about 13.000 Angolan refugees living in South Africa was signed in Pretoria by the Governments of both countries, as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The agreement establishes the creation of a tripartite commission responsible for the supervision of the implementation of the repatriation process from South Africa to Angola, including the register and organisation of transportations for the returnees to their areas of origin. The convention also compromises the signatories to respect the rights of those being repatriated, as well as the voluntary nature of the repatriation and to facilitate their passage in border posts and to aid the vulnerable refugees in their homelands.

Similar accords had been signed with the Governments of the neighbouring Zambia, Namibia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana and the Republic of Congo in the past years. (Angola Press Agency, Luanda)

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