The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has begun relocating more than 33,000 Congolese refugees from over-crowded reception centres in northern Angola.
The UN agency said it will move the refugees to a new settlement in Lóvua, some 100km inland from the border with DR Congo.
About 1,500 refugees have been relocated from Mussunge to the new site, the UNHCR said on Tuesday.
Congolese refugees have been fleeing to Angola since March, putting more strain on resources at the border centres, the UN said.
Violence erupted in DR Congo’s central Kasai region after government forces killed a tribal chief and militia leader Kamwina Nsapu.
Mr Nsapu had been leading a rebellion against President Joseph Kabila.
UNHCR said the new site at Lovua, a 33km2 parcel of land allocated by the Angolan government, would improve the living conditions of the refugees.
“The refugees will receive a plot of land to build shelters and grow food to supplement their food rations.
“The new settlement’s distance from the border will help in maintaining the humanitarian and civilian character of the site,” UNHCR said in a statement.
The refugee agency said security situation in Kasai region remains volatile.
UNHCR said, along with its partners, it is ready to provide protection and assistance for up to 50,000 Congolese refugees by the end of 2017 at Lóvua.
In June, the UNHCR launched an appeal for $65 million to assist refugees of which only 32 per cent has been received.
“Additional funding is urgently needed to continue developing infrastructure and services for refugees in Lóvua settlement,” the UN said.