DRC developments give hope to refugees

Lusaka- Zambia (PANA) -- The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has described the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo as most encouraging, raising hopes that hundreds of Congolese refugees currently in Zambia may soon return home.
"With the recent developments in Congo, we remain hopeful that the Lusaka cease-fire agreement for the DRC will be sustained," UNHCR acting representative in Zambia, Martin Bucumi, said Wednesday in Lusaka during the commemoration of the World Refugee Day.
Bucumi, however, regretted that the civil war in Angola still rages on.
He said he was optimistic that the belligerents in Angola would realise that a military option was not the way to end the war in the country.
Zambia earlier this year experienced an influx of refugees from both Angola and the DRC, bringing the total number of refugees in Zambia to 258,000.
Bucumi noted that the refugee problem is worsening instead of improving.
He sympathised with the refugees whom he said their situation has not been easy to live in a foreign country.
"Thus the biggest challenge for all of us is to get serious about tackling the root causes of refugee crises and finding durable solutions for them," he said.
Bucumi urged African leaders, who will be meeting at the July OAU summit in Lusaka, to resolve for a peaceful continent by ensuring that Africa is a haven of peace and free of refugees.

20 june 2001 15:15:00

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