The number of refugees entering Zambia from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) into Luapula Province has risen to more 900, Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba has said.The refugees are running away from that country to seek solace in Zambia because of intense fighting between the DRC forces and a rebel group known as Mai Mai.
Defense Minister Geoffrey Mwamba, Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu,Luapula Province Minister Benson Kapaya and Home Affairs Deputy Minister Nickson Chilangwa were over the weekend in Luapula to find an alternative location were to keep the Congolese refugees.
The minister told journalists that the number of refugees at Kirwa Island in Nchelenge was 809 while Chiengi District was hosting more than 170.Scores of refugees were lodging in classrooms at Kirwa Island. In Chiengi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had provided them with tents.
Government has indicated intentions to move the Congolese refugees to Mwange Refugee Camp in Mporokoso.Home Affairs Deputy Minister Nickson Chilangwa said Government intends to relocate the 806 refugees on Kilwa Island and the 69 who have camped in Chienge to Mwange refugee camp. Mwange refugee camp which was opened in 1999 and was later closed by the United Nation High Commission for Refugees in 2010 has since been given to the Ministry of Youth and Sport as a resettlement scheme for the youths.The resettlement scheme is now a home to 40 Zambia National Service (ZNS) trained youths who are qualified in various life skills.
Home Affairs Deputy Minister Nickson Chilangwa assured the youths at Mwange Refugee camp of safety once refugees move on the location.Mr. Chilangwa who was accompanied by Mporokoso District Commissioner Jenipher Chongo assured the youths that government will provide security by establishing a police post at the camp.Mr. Chilangwa said Government is looking for an alternative location near to DRC Congo where to keep the refugees and that Kala in Kawambwa is also being considered.
At least 1000 Congolese refugees have fled into Zambia following some political fights that have erupted between the Mai mai rebels and the
Government in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Interesting! Youths with refuges together. Is it a way of cutting costs?
Picture: Vulnerable with those nice suit cases? Wao; when i was vulnerable i used to move with a bag made from a tent!! They never classfied me as vulnerable but a “boarder”. Good luck guys.
Thats the duty of National Service is to take care of community. Why are they complaining of accommodating refugees? This is a great qualification for them, let them take care of refugees.
HAVE YOU CONSIDERED THAT REFUGEES ARE VULNERABLE PEOPLE? THEREFORE, PLACING THEM TOGETHER WITH THOSE YOUTH WILL TURN THEM INTO EASY PREY FOR ANY SEXUAL ACTIVITIES ACROSS REFUGEES AND STUDENTS. THE POINT IS THE REFUGEES WILL BE DELIVERING THEMSELVES TO ZAMBIAN BOY FOR CHOPPING SO THAT THEY CAN BE MARRIED TO THEM AND HENCE BECOME ZAMBIANS, TOO. I AM NOT AGAINST CONGOLESE BECOMING ZAMBIANS LEGALLY, BUT THE IDEA OF PLACING VULNERABLE PEOPLE WITH THE YOUTH DOESN’T GO WELL. FOOD FOR THOUGHT BA GRZ.
When I was in Mwange in 2003, the issue was somewhat reverse. Refugees receive free education and monthly food (meagre amounts mind you). The local Zambians were equally poor and some of them married (or wanted to marry) the refugees so that they could also benefit from refugee rights.
Though in this situation, I don’t know anything of the youth program there now so I can’t speak to the current situation.
We wants our youths to be having some good time with any beatiful refuge
@no 4 you have raised a very critical issue which no 5 is trying to foolishly dilute. These refuges are young men and putting them together with the youths is like putting goats and fingure millet together. The goat will have the greatest chance to chew the millet. What I know is Mwange Camp is now home and school to very vulnerable children, those without parents and this is now home. I don’t know about ZNS youths there. You just have to move those vulnerable children from there or find another place for the refugees.
Imwe ba Chitalu #6 bushe tamwalalapo no mwanakashi?
Hi I’m Jim Q Cott
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