Vedasto Mwesiga, a UNHCR representative in Zambia, said: "The majority of Congolese indicated that they wanted to repatriate between 2006 and 2007."

 

"More funds needed"

 

Mwesiga said the UNHCR would contribute $800,000 but said additional funds were required for transport and food.

 

A two-day joint Zambia and DR Congo government meeting, which is also being attended by UNHCR, is under way to assess the logistics of the operation.

 

Zambia shares a long border with eastern DR Congo. Thousands of refugees, including combatants, cross into Zambia mainly from the Congolese towns of Pweto and Moba.

 

Tensions resurfaced over the weekend in eastern DRC with forces of a rebel general seizing a part of the volatile town of Sake. Thousands of civilians were forced to take flight.