RAPAPORT… Some 25,000 living on a 1,000 mile border between Angola and the southwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo have reportedly been pushed off Angola’s side. United Nations-backed radio Okapi claimed the majority of these folks were mining diamonds without approval.
The border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Angola has been a hot spot for refugees as Angola attempts to end illegal mining, and the DRC struggles to cope with economic issues of its own.
In the DRC’s Kasai province, some 13,000 have sought refuge in the past four days. Okapi reported another 15,000 mining families have arrived in the Katanga province since July 7.
“They are returning by the thousands,” DRC’s minister of humanitarian affairs Jean-Claude Muyambo told Reuters from Katanga’s capital, Lubumbashi. He added that Angola’s authorities may have abused several of the miners as well.
“Practically the majority of them have had their belongings stolen. Some have been abused. They continue to come, and so it’s difficult to give a total figure,” he told Reuters.