According to a doctor, authorities, and the United Nations, during the mass expulsion of migrant workers from Angola to Kamako in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, women and children have been raped and subjected to other abuses.
According to UN statistics, Angola has deported thousands of employees in recent months, continuing earlier purges over the preceding 12 years, which human rights organisations and the UN claim included abuses.
The extent of the most recent expulsion is not yet known, but according to previously published data from the UN’s migration agency, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), 12,000 workers have gone through one border crossing close to the DRC town of Kamako in the preceding six months.
According to sources, UN personnel visited the region last month and issued an internal preliminary report on the situation.
“Girls and women are arrested wherever they are, without the necessary needs, detained and then separated from their children and husbands, subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment, sometimes raped,” the report said.
The study, which has not yet been released, did not specifically name the offenders. A local doctor attributed the deaths to DRC people and Angolan security troops.
Simo Milagres, a spokesman for Angola’s migration agency, acknowledged a rise in expulsions in recent weeks but refuted reports of rapes and other abuses.
“That’s not true,” he said. “I can guarantee that there isn’t an institutional attitude promoting violence against migrants.”
The number of abuse cases was not specified in the UN report. However, 122 cases of rape were reported in local clinics this year, according to Victor Mikobi, a physician who specializes in treating sexual assault victims at a Kamako health centre. This is a record number for the community, he said.
“These are women or girls expelled from Angola, some of them under 10 years old, without any means of subsistence and very vulnerable to this type of violence,” he said. Instances of gang rape have caused medical complications, he said.
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