An estimated 9,000 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) refugee children in Angola are engaging in street hawking in Lunda Norte Province, the VOA Radio has reported.
Ms Maria Tchianda of the Lunda Norte Province National Child Institute Officer was quoted by the VOA Radio saying the the children were mainly operating in Dundo municipality, the capital of the northeast Lunda Norte Province, 656km north of the capital Luanda.
“The main reason for this is that many children are not living in refuge centres but in local communities. That is why their parents ask them to trade in streets,” she was further quoted.
The conflict in the DRC has forced nearly 35,000 refugees to flee the Central Kasai region for Lunda Norte since March last year.
The violence in Kasai erupted in September 2016 after government forces killed a tribal chief and militia leader, Kamwina Nsapu, who had been leading a rebellion against President Joseph Kabila. Rival militia groups fighting for control, especially in the mineral rich areas have made it worse for the volatile Congo.
President Kabila’s refusal to step down when his tenure expired in December 2016 sparked sporadic violence across the country leading to fears that the country could slide into civil war again.
Congolese refugees in Angola in January said they would not return home despite an agreement between the two governments to repatriate them.