Last week in this post we wrote about the deteriorating humanitarian and food security situation in the Kasai region, and we also mentioned another issue: in the past weeks, Angola’s crackdown on informal diamond mining had led to the expulsion of 200 000 Congolese migrants and their return could further destabilize Kasai.
In an article by IRIN published a few days ago, Africa editor Sumayya Ismail writes:
In attempts to clamp down on what it called illegal diamond mining operations, Angola’s government ordered the expulsion of more than 360,000 Congolese nationals, forcing them to flee in October into the Kasaï region of neighbouring DRC.[…]
Congolese migrants and officials said the crackdown was violent, telling Reuters that dozens of people were killed, with the worst attacks occurring in Lucapa in Angola’s diamond-rich Lunda Norte province. Angolan security forces denied the allegations.
Ismail explains why the arrival in Kasaï of Congolese from Angola could be such a problem:
The situation in Kasaï changed dramatically in 2016 when conflict erupted between the Kamuina Nsapu anti-government movement and Congolese security forces. The inter-communal clashes spread far and wide, soon engulfing the entire region.[…]
For the most vulnerable groups, specifically women and children, the challenges that affect those displaced by the insurgency also pose risks for the new returnees from Angola. In May for instance, UNICEF reported that 400,000 children were “at risk of death” in the Kasaïs, because of food shortages.
The humanitarian situation in the Kasai region is critical and the returnees from Angola could trigger another crisis if no action is taken to raise humanitarian assistance…