Congo, Democratic Republic of the (DROC) - Migration



Political tensions and crises in neighboring African countries have resulted in large-scale migration to the DROC. Many refugees were resettled in the former Zaire through the aid of outside governments, private relief organizations, the UN, and UN-related agencies.

After a general amnesty for refugees and political exiles in 1978, some 200,000 Zairians were repatriated from Angola, Zambia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Europe. There were 60,200 officially registered Zairians living in neighboring countries at the end of 1992, including 25,800 in Burundi, 16,000 in Tanzania, 15,600 in Uganda, and 2,300 in Sudan.

By early 1997, over 800,000 Rwandan Hutu refugees had returned to Rwanda from the DROC due to the armed rebellion in the DROC. There were still 250,000 Rwandan Hutus unaccounted for in the DROC at the beginning of 1997. The DROC harbored 400,000 refugees from Burundi, 160,000 Angolans, 110,000 Sudanese, and 18,500 Ugandans as of May 1997. In 1998, more than 285,000 Angolans, Sudanese, Congolese, Ugandans, Rwandans, and Burundi remained in the DROC. Following the signature of an agreement between the DROC, ROC, and UNHCR in April 1999, some 36,000 Congolese were repatriated to Brazzaville. However, instability in Angola made similar repatriation for Angolans unlikely in the immediate future. Repatriation plans for Sudanese, Rwandan, Burundi, and remaining Congolese refugees were under investigation in 1999.

As a result of internal conflict that started in August 1998, more than 700,000 people were internally displaced. Some 95,000 sought asylum in Tanzania, and 25,000 fled to Zambia.

The net migration rate in 2000 was -7.1 migrants per 1,000 population, or a loss of 340,000 people. In that year the total number of migrants living in the DROC was 739,000, of which 332,500 were refugees. The government views the migration levels as satisfactory.

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