THE Namibian and Angolan governments are set to meet to discuss the unfolding humanitarian crisis surrounding the arrival of hundreds of so-called drought refugees over the past few weeks.
The Angolan ambassador to Namibia, Jovelina Imperial Costa said that her government and that of Namibia are aware of refugees at Oshikango and other smaller towns along the border.
Costa revealed this during her visit to the border town in the Ohangwena Region on Monday.
Hundreds of Angolan nationals, especially young men and women, are flocking into Namibia seeking humanitarian help, following a severe drought being experienced in the southern part of that country.
Some of the refugees claimed that there is a crisis of unemployment among the youth in Angolan, which has resulted in starvation. The people said that the absence of rain has left them destitute.
A group of young Angolan men said they are forced to sleep in the open under trees and that they hardly have any food. They only eat when local residents offer them food.
“Yes we are aware of young Angolan men, who are here seeking employment opportunities while they have no proper immigration documents,” Costa said while adding that the governments of both countries will meet next month to address the issue.
Costa urged citizens of both countries to adhere to the laws regulating cross-border movement to avoid arrest.
The Governor of the Ohangwena Region, Walde Ndevashiya, who accompanied Costa during the visit to Oshikango, confirmed the planned governmental meeting in April.
“It is scheduled to take place in Angola,” Ndevashiya stated.
The delegation of the two government officials travelled along the border and also had an audience with Angolan nationals camping in the field near the Okahauyulu border post where the Angolan police prevented the refugees to cross the border into Namibia.
Another group of Angolan drought refugees is camping near the Etunda east of Ruacana in the Omusati Region.