Angolan refugees encouraged to return home

Friday, May 3, 2013

Pretoria - Government has encouraged all Angolans who sought refuge in South Africa as a result of the civil war in Angola, to voluntary avail themselves for repatriation.

The repatriation is in line with the cessation declared by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and supports the efforts to enhance regional integration.   

Government of Communication and Information System (GCIS) Acting CEO, Phumla Williams said South Africa recognises Angola as a democratic state that has made significant transitions since the end of the civil war, which ended in April 2002.

Williams said that government recognises the fundamental changes that have taken place in Angola and refugees would be able to reclaim citizenship of their country.

“This should be a proud moment for Angolans, who will be able to safely return to and reintegrate into their country of origin,” said Williams.

Against the backdrop of the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1969 Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa.

She also highlighted that a person ceases to be a refugee if he/she can no longer continue to refuse the protection of the country of his or her nationality, because the circumstances that recognised such a person as a refugee no longer exist.

Williams urged communities to be alert to the upcoming campaign by the Department of Home Affairs, which aims to provide information on the process of implementation for the Angolan cessation.

Cabinet has declared that 31 August 2013 be set aside as the cessation date in South Africa for the affected Angolan refugees. –

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