The United Nations has reported that recent migrant worker expulsions from Angola have led to rape and other types of violence against women and children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Development Diaries reports that Angola has deported thousands of workers in recent months, according to UN figures.
In the last six months, 12,000 workers were reported by officials and the UN to have passed through one border crossing close to the town of Kamako in DRC.
According to the UN report, only 20 percent of the deported workers had permits, and many of them enter Angola illegally.
The UN report did not reveal the number of cases of abuse, but as reported by Reuters, a doctor who specialises in treating victims of sexual violence at a health centre in Kamako, Victor Mikobi, said local clinics had recorded 122 cases of rape this year, unprecedented levels for the town.
From accounts of patients treated at his health centre, he estimated that at least 14 rapes were committed by Angolan security forces, adding that dozens of others were committed by civilians in Congo.
The number of the latest abuse cases is however unknown.
Angola’s diamond-rich Lunda Norde region has long attracted thousands of migrant workers from Congo’s isolated, poor south.
Many come illegally, with only 20 percent of the deported workers having permits.
A 2018 report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) revealed that over 400,000 people were forcibly returned or fled Angola following an operation targeting illegal diamond mining in Angola’s Lunda Norte province.
HRW also noted that Angola’s deportation of refugees violated its obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1969 African Refugee Convention, under the principle of nonrefoulment, which prohibits the forced return of refugees to a place where they would face a real risk of persecution, torture or other ill-treatment, or a threat to life.
Development Diaries calls on the Angolan government to stop the abusive deportation of migrants from Congo and conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into alleged abuses by state security forces.
Photo source: Africanews