UN flies aid into Angola for DRC asylum seekers


The logo of UNHCR at office at the Colombian-Venezuelan border. The UNCHR's annual figures showed 1.1 million people fled across international borders in 2012, while 6.5 million were displaced within their homelands. This means one in each 4.1 seconds.

LUANDA - The United Nations' refugee agency on Sunday airlifted its first batch of relief supplies to the more than 11,000 people on Angola's northern border fleeing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The UN said more than a million civilians had been displaced inside the DRC since a brutal conflict broke out in the Kasai region in mid-2016, with about 25,000 asylum seekers crossing into Angola.

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"Arrivals are in urgent need of life-saving assistance, including food, water, shelter and medical services," the southern Africa representative of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Sharon Cooper, said in a statement.

A cargo aircraft carrying mosquito nets, blankets and sanitary items flew in from Dubai and landed near Dundo, about 100km from the Angola-DRC border, where the UNHCR has set up makeshift centres sheltering refugees, she said.

The UN would send more relief to Angola in the coming days.

The Kamuina Nsapu insurrection that erupted in the DRC's Kasai-Central province last August has become the most serious threat to President Joseph Kabila's 16-year rule, with lawlessness across inflamed by Kabila's decision to remain in power after his mandate ran out in December.

UN investigators said earlier this month that it had uncovered 40 mass grave sites and killings of more than 400 people in Kasai.