Angola building up border to prevent entry of illegal diamond miners from DRC

The regional governor of the diamond-rich northeastern province of Lunda Norte in Angola said officials are moving ahead with work to strengthen its border security.

Border fences and other security measures are being put in place along the 770-kilometer land frontier and 120-kilometer river border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to prevent the entry of illegal diamond miners, said governor Ernesto Muangala in an interview with Bloomberg News.

“The government has prioritized an increase in the number of border police and is acquiring and installing modern equipment for border control,” Muangala said.

The southwest African country has been trying to prevent illegal immigrants from the DRC, thousands of whom have moved to Lunda Norte in a desperate bid to find diamonds.

The Angolan government to expelled around 70,000 immigrants in 2009, according to the country's Foreign Service.