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Guinea: 7,000+ arrive in Kissidougou

Briefing notes

Guinea: 7,000+ arrive in Kissidougou

15 December 2000

UNHCR has learned from the local authorities in Kissidougou in south-western Guinea that between 7,000 and 8,000 refugees have arrived in the town, fleeing surrounding areas. The local authorities have requested that the refugees be transferred to the nearby Massakoundou camp which is already hosting some 24,000 refugees.

Reports indicate that arrivals of refugees also continue in the town of Nzérékoré amid rumours of possible attacks on the town. This has increased the risk of refugees facing growing animosity from the local population. Information on movements of refugees and locals affected by the attacks in the region is scarce, due to bad communications and security concerns. UNHCR still has local staff in south-western Guinea maintaining contact with the authorities. Camps in the region were hosting a total of 400,000 people before the recent attacks and it is virtually impossible to determine how many of them have fled further inland.

Meanwhile, more arrivals are also reported in Guinea's capital Conakry, where UNHCR is establishing a transit centre for 1,000 people to ease the situation in the Sierra Leone Embassy compound which has been flooded by Sierra Leoneans trying to go home. UNHCR is also distributing food and plastic sheeting to Sierra Leoneans who are waiting to be taken by boat to Sierra Leone's capital Freetown. In Freetown, the existing transit centres are being expanded to accommodate the growing number of returnees from Guinea.