For many years South Africa has been a safe home for nearly 6,000 Angolan refugees mainly living in Cape Town or the Western Cape. Some of them settled in South Africa since 1993 and were amongst the first group of foreign nationals to be declared refugees under the 1998 Refugees Act. In 2009, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recommended that refugee status be ended worldwide for Angolans who fled Angola from 1961 – 2002 due to the war of independence and the subsequent civil war, on the basis that peace and stability had returned to the country. The government of South Africa followed suit by committing itself to implement international recommendations and assisting Angolan refugees to return to their home country through a process of cessation of refugee status.
The aim of this study is (a) to analyze the implementation of the Angolan cessation in South Africa and identify its strengths and weaknesses; (b) analyse experiences of those involved in the process (i.e. Angolan community, South African government, Angolan, government, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and civil society in order to better inform the policy debate on how cessation of refugee status can be implemented in South Africa.
Angola refoulement; asylum; Africa; refugees