The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday launched an operation to repatriate over 600 Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) refugees from Central African Republic, a statement by the UN agency said.
The refugees who had been living in the Central African Republic for the last six years, had fled attacks from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels.
“Within the next three weeks, UNHCR expects to repatriate a total of 628 refugees,” the statement said.
The agency said all those to be repatriated had expressed their willingness to return to their country, due to unstable security situation in the Central African Republic.
Some 5,000 Congolese nationals fled into refuge in the Central African Republic, to escape attacks and atrocities committed by LRA between 2008 and 2009 in border regions of Ango and Obo.
“Upon arrival in Ango, each of the refugees will be given 60 U.S. dollars to cover transportation cost to their villages,” the statement said.
“UNHCR will equally give each adult 150 dollars and each child will receive 100 dollars, while the World Food Program will distribute food coupons to the returnees,” the statement explained.
United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said LRA attacks had displaced over 180,000 people in DR Congo and Central African Republic, and had pushed over 30,000 people to take refuge in neighbouring countries.
The LRA which was formed in Uganda in 1986, established its first base in Sudan in 1993. The rebel group moved to DR Congo in 2005 and later moved to the Central African Republic in 2009.
Having been chased away by the Ugandan army, the LRA rebels decided to settle in southeast Central African Republic where they have continued to terrorise the population. Enditem