From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Angolan Refugees to be Repatriated

Date 21 May 1996 11:19:46

News from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

May 21, 1996


Beginning this summer Angolan refugees from settlements
in Zambia will be repatriated in accordance with the
Lusaka Peace Protocol of November 1994.  Action by
Churches Together (ACT) will provide support for the
effort.  ACT is a worldwide network of churches,
including the Lutheran World Federation, meeting human
need through coordinated emergency response.  A total of
31,000 Angolans should be repatriated.  In order for a
successful voluntary repatriation, ACT says information
campaigns and demographic surveys must be conducted,
mine awareness education stepped up, transit centers
constructed with feeding and sanitation areas, roads and
bridges repaired to the border.  An important component
of the education plan is training about the danger of land
mines, identification of land mines, and what to do in case
a landmine is found. The settlements have been home to
Angolan refugees since 1971.  Two convoys of 1,000
refugees each will make the trip to the border transit center
each week.  Resources are needed for training of
personnel, for transport and printed materials. Refugees
say that they will need assurances from various leaders that
life in Angola is returning to an acceptable level and their
home areas are peaceful. ACT's plan is to take traditional
leaders and village chairmen from the settlements in
Zambia to home areas in Angola so that they can spread a
positive word.  At the same time traditional leaders within
Angola itself will visit the settlements in Zambia to assure
the returnees that all is well.  Lutheran World Federation
will provide blankets and quilts for use in reception and
transit centers and used clothing in family packages for
returnees, on the day of their departure to Angola.  These
donated commodities are already in the Lusaka
warehouse.  The Lutheran World Federation is a
worldwide communion of 122 member churches, including
the Evangelical Lutheran Church is America.

[ELCA News and Information, 8765 W. Higgins Road,
Chicago, IL   60631; 312/380-2963.]

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