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Guinea: relocation from Nyaedou camp due to start

Briefing notes

Guinea: relocation from Nyaedou camp due to start

6 February 2001

UNHCR today (Tuesday) was scheduled to start relocating tens of thousands of frightened refugees from Nyaedou camp, 17 km north of Guéckédou in Guinea's volatile south-west border region. They will be moved to the newly-established Albadaria site near Faranah, 200 km north of Guéckédou, where UNHCR has prepared two camps for up to 60,000 people.

Ten trucks escorted by the Guinean army were travelling to Nyaedou to collect 350 refugees and their belongings. UNHCR expects to send additional trucks in the coming days to increase the number of refugees being relocated from Nyaedou. The 30,000 refugees in Nyaedou are very anxious to be moved away from the border, following attacks on other camps in the area last December and continuing fighting in the region.

UNHCR has also drawn up plans to relocate some 180,000 refugees and 70,000 Guinean displaced persons stranded in the Parrot's Beak area, south-west of Guéckédou. However, continued military activity there prevents the evacuation. UNHCR is gravely concerned about the humanitarian situation in the Parrot's Beak, which has received no significant aid in months.

Last Friday, UNHCR staff successfully retrieved stocks of food and other materials from the embattled town of Guéckédou. While loading the material at UNHCR's warehouse on the north side of town, aid workers could hear rocket fire and gunfire from the southern edge of the town.

In the Friday operation, 20 UNHCR trucks under Guinean military escort moved some 50 metric tons of dried peas, corn-soy blend, more than 4,100 blankets, 3,100 plastic tarpaulins, 1,500 jerry cans and some 1,100 kitchen sets and pots. The supplies were taken to the relatively safe regional base of Kissidougou, from where they will be distributed to refugees at the new Albadaria site and some 30,000 refugees camped at nearby Massakoundou.

Significant stocks of relief items were left behind in Guéckédou when UNHCR and other agencies were forced to abandon the town in early December, after fighting had broken out in the area bordering on both Sierra Leone and Liberia.