DR Congo refugees set to return home

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A Congolese girl concentrates on her assignment

Over 81,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo are to be repatriated  home from the neighbouring Republic of Congo where they have been living for the past three years.

The refugees fled inter ethnic violence in the northern DR Congo province of Equator in 2009.

The Voluntary repatriation is organized by the UN Refugee agency UNHCR.

The repatriation follows the signing of a nonaggression pact between the Enyele and Munzaya communities last year which ended hostilities and paved the way for a reconciliation programme.

Nearly 143,000 civilians were displaced by the inter-ethnic violence sparked by disputes over fishing and farming rights.

Andrej Mahecic is from the UNHCR.

"More than 85 per cent of the returnees have been women and children. Under the repatriation programme, UNHCR hopes to assist 49,000 refugees return this year from Republic of Congo and 32,000 next year. The convoys will be organized every Tuesday and Friday. We wouldn’t be organizing a repatriation if we were not sure that the people who are going back are going back in safety and dignity. They are receiving a specific package of assistance up arrival they are also being briefed about the situation. They are going back to their villages, their places of origin and they should be able to continue with their lives and fully integrate back into the Congolese community."

Duration 43"

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December 2017
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