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Guinea: most eastern Parrots Beak camps now empty

Briefing notes

Guinea: most eastern Parrots Beak camps now empty

22 May 2001

In the last three days, more than 4,500 Sierra Leonean refugees have been relocated from Guinea's Parrot's Beak region. On Saturday, a fleet of 54 trucks collected some 3,000 people from a string of camps on the eastern side of the Parrot's Beak, a thumb of territory jutting into Sierra Leone. The refugees were transferred to Katkama transit camp, north of Guéckédou. The majority of camps along the eastern side of the Parrot's Beak region are now empty. In one of the camps, local villagers began burning some of the refugee shelters even as refugees boarded trucks. Many other empty camps have been burned as well.

In another area of the Parrot's Beak, UNHCR on Sunday organized an early evacuation of a group of 200 refugees after they were attacked by local villagers on Friday and robbed of the food they had received for the journey earlier that day.

Over 6,000 refugees from the Parrot's Beak are now in transit in Katkama camp, awaiting further movement to safer areas away from the insecure border region. Over the next few days, UNHCR will increase its trucking capacity for transfers between the temporary Katkama transit site and new camps established further north in Guinea.

In Forécariah, south-east of Conakry, the capital, an estimated 10,000 Sierra Leonean refugees living in makeshift accommodation in the volatile border area are being offered a choice between transfer to safer areas deeper inside Guinea or voluntary return to Sierra Leone. On Monday, 374 refugees were moved to Dabola, in central Guinea, while 240 others this morning left by boat for Freetown, Sierra Leone.