Since May 26, more than 30,000 Congolese expelled from Angola have crossed the border at Kahungula, Bandundu province, in the southwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In response to an alert sounded by the Congolese authorities, MSF went to the area to provide healthcare and to assess the situation of the expelled people. MSF offered medical assistance to the 600 to 700 Congolese being expelled daily and collected their testimonies. "The expulsions present the characteristics of a large-scale scheme carried out in Angola," explained Bertrand Perrochet, an MSF coordinator. "The expulsions occur from Malanje and Lunda Norte provinces, mostly by force, from compounds set up on diamonds fields, or voluntarily, from some urban areas." According to testimonies collected by MSF, the Angolan army surrounds the diamond mines where many Congolese migrants dig illegally and instructs them to leave. The men are then taken by foot or by truck to closed compounds, and from there, are moved in groups of a few hundred to the Congolese border. The expelled people assisted by MSF in this area are 80% male and have not been victims of systematic sexual violence, as was the case in 2007. However, cases of physical violence are reported as well as cases of degrading vaginal and anal searches, undertaken by Angolan soldiers during the expulsion. "The aim of these searches is to deprive the Congolese population of valuable goods — money or diamonds — before they leave Angolan territory," explains Perrochet. "Some patients also report other types of physical violence, such as beatings and knife or machete attacks by the Angolan armed forces or sometimes by the Angolan population, always with the aim to steal and dispossess people of their goods. One man we met there had been beaten by civilians because he refused to give his belt. He died from his wounds in Kahungula." MSF continues to closely follow the situation of expelled people. In December 2007 MSF denounced the systematic use of rape and violence by the Angolan army during the expulsion of Congolese migrants working in diamond mines in the Angolan province of Lunda Norte. MSF committed to closely following expulsions from Angola, in order to assess the health conditions of the population on the border and to denounce potential abuses.