UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Friday cautioned that Angola’s mass deportation of approximately 330,000 Congolese migrants has seen human rights violations by authorities on both sides of the border.
Authorities in Angola have reportedly used unnecessary force in expelling Congolese from the country, including deaths at the hand of authorities and other serious injuries. On the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) side of the border, government forces are accused of imposing illegal taxes, extorting and detaining migrants. Many migrants are also living in inhabitable conditions on the streets without adequate supplies of food and water or access to healthcare.
The High Commissioner called on the government of Angola to “halt any ongoing deportations until it can be assured that any returns will be carried out in full respect of the rule of law and the human rights of all affected migrants.” Bachelet also called on both the governments of Angola and the DRC to hold security forces accountable for violations in treatment of the migrants.
Lastly, the High Commissioner asked the government of the DRC and other nations to offer humanitarian support to the migrants.