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200 Angolans and Cape Verdeans Disappear During World Youth Day Festival in Portugal


200 Angolans & Cape Verdeans Go Missing During World Youth Day Festival in Portugal.

About 200 Angolans and Cape Verdeans didn’t show up to their delegations to participate in World Youth Day, which runs until Sunday in Lisbon.

Authorities in Portugal are attempting to find these persons, with the youngest being 19 years old, emphasising that they are all in good standing after they benefit from a three-month visa in Portugal as well as other countries included in the EU’s borderless zone.

“There is a first phase of identifying people, then evaluating the steps we take to locate the young people in the light of the information we have. People have an authorised period; after this phase, they will enter into an irregular situation, and there they will be subject to the law [ …] They have authorised stay, we just don’t know where they are”, the representative of the Foreigners and Borders Service said at a press conference to journalists, in Lisbon.

In addition to these pilgrims who didn’t show up, at least citizens from Angola have already expressed their willingness to remain in Portugal to the country’s authorities. If these citizens can prove that they are threatened in their country of origin, they are eligible to apply for refugee status in Portugal or another Schengen Zone country.

Many dioceses in Portuguese-speaking countries have been warned about the danger of immigration. Friar Gilson, who leads the delegation of nearly 700 people coming from Sao Tome as well as Principle told RFI that it is difficult to maintain the situation under control, even if surveillance was reinforced and there were several training sessions before leaving.

“We were careful to use some criteria, even to make it difficult for those who might come up with the idea of ​​staying. We try to do it, but you can’t be sure if they’ll return or not because we don’t know what’s in their minds of each. We did our part; we had six months of formation in our diocese to show people the need to come and return,” he noted.

The number of citizens from Angola residing in Portugal marked a notable increase this year. According to the figures from the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), in the past ten years, the number of Angolans residing in Portugal increased by over 50 per cent, from 20,366 in 2012 to a total of 31,435 last year.

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