Last group of Angolan refugees returns home from Botswana

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Angolan refugee returnees on arrival at Katwitwi in southern Angola after their journey from Botswana (© UNHCR/J.Abrigada)

The last group of Angolan refugees returned home from Botswana this week, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

UNHCR says its voluntary repatriation programme for the refugees ended on Thursday with the return of 194 people, closing another chapter in one of Africa's oldest refugee situations.

Kisut Gebre Egziabher of UNHCR in Ethiopia, says a convoy carrying the refugees and their belongings left Dukwi refugee camp in the east of the country at dawn two days ago and arrived in Angola on Thursday.

"This week's convoy brings to 461 the number of Angolans repatriated from Botswana since June last year. Angola’s war of independence, which lasted from 1961 to 1975, and a bitter civil war that followed claimed thousands of lives and displaced some four million people, including 550,000 who became refugees. Most  fled to neighbouring countries including Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, the Republic of Congo and Botswana."(28")

The UN refugee agency says although most of Angolan refugees in the region have gone back home since 2002, more than 100,000 still remain in exile in the DR Congo, Zambia and South Africa.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’27″

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