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Guinea: border movement operation shifts to east

Briefing notes

Guinea: border movement operation shifts to east

15 May 2001

UNHCR's operations to move refugees from Guinea's volatile border areas shifted this week to Forécariah in eastern Guinea, where nearly 10,000 refugees are to be assisted - either home to Sierra Leone or further north to a new site in Dabola Prefecture, central Guinea. On Monday, a convoy carrying 330 refugees returning to Sierra Leone left Forécariah, 150 km south-east of Conakry, for the recently-established Mambiya transit centre, outside Conakry. If they choose, the refugees will return home to Sierra Leone by boats organised by IOM. Refugees who are not yet ready to return home will be moved to the new Sembakounya site in Dabola Prefecture.

Meanwhile, the relocation of thousands of Sierra Leonean refugees from camps in Guinea's Parrot's Beak region is expected to be completed by the end of this month. UNHCR estimates that there are still a few thousand people who may be willing to relocate from a series of camps along the road between Kolomba, at the tip of the Parrot's beak, and Koundou Lengo Bengo, on its northern edge. Trucks for the relocation operation will be sent down to the Parrot's Beak again later this week as soon as those willing to leave have received a pre-departure assistance package.

In all, UNHCR has moved more than 40,000 people from in and around the Parrot's Beak since the beginning of the general relocation movement in early February.