135 Former Angolan Refugee Households Repatriated to Angola from Zambia

A total of 135 households of former Angolan refugees from Zambian refugee settlements (Mayukwayukwa, Western Province and Maheba, North-Western Province) participated in the safe and voluntary repatriation to Angola.

The Zambian and Angolan Governments, with support from IOM provided assistance for the voluntary repatriation of refugees from Zambia to Angola. Those returned comprise a total of 394 individuals, of whom 170 were male and 224 were female (204 children – accompanied by their guardians – and 190 adults). Since 2003 IOM has successfully facilitated the dignified return of over 79,000 Angolan former refugees. In particular, IOM Zambia provided the following support:

  • Sensitization: In preparation for the returns, IOM, in partnership with the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees (COR) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Zambia, conducted awareness-raising sessions in and among the refugee settlements to provide detailed information to former refugees about the upcoming Voluntary Repatriation (VolRep) exercise. This sensitization was conducted in both refugee settlements: Mayukwayukwa and Maheba. 
  • Repatriation: Following registration, IOM coordinated with COR to make logistical arrangements for the voluntary returns. The returns were coordinated in close cooperation with IOM Angola, UNHCR and the Government of Angola (MINARS). The returnees were transported in safety and dignity from Mayukwayukwa and Maheba Refugee Camps in Luau and Moxico Province, Angola. Prior to return, all registered refugees underwent fitness to travel medicals assessments, and were given basic food items and allowance for their sustenance during the journey.

Reception and onward transportation: Upon arrival at the IOM Reception Centre in Luau, Angola, the returnees were provided with a reintegration package of Non-Food Items (NFIs) by the Angolan Government, and were given a cash grant for onward transportation by UNHCR to reach their final destination.

This repatriation exercise was made possible with support from the United States Department of State, Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration (PRM).