Angola expelled more than 69 000 immigrants this year, many of whom entered the nation through its border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo to search for diamonds, an Angolan official said.
Teresa Silva, head of the Foreing Ministry’s Refugees Department, told Radio Nacional de Angola that the wave of illegal immigrants seemed organised, with thousands of people entering the country every day.
Angola has for years targeted hundreds of thousands of poor Congolese immigrants who have poured across its long border with the DRC.
Earlier this month, the DRC responded by deporting over 20 000 Angolans who had fled to that country during Angola’s 27-year civil war, which ended in 2002.
Officials from both countries met last month and agreed to end the tit-for-tat deportations. Angola rivals Nigeria as Africa’s biggest oil producer and is the world’s fifth biggest diamond exporter.
Silva did not say exactly how many of the illegal immigrants deported were from the DRC.
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