Guinea: daily arrivals from Sierra Leone double
The number of Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea's Kalako camp has nearly doubled in the past two weeks, to 4,281. The increase in arrivals is attributed to aerial bombing in the Kambia area of Sierra Leone. The average number of arrivals at Kalako, in Guinea's coastal Forécariah province, had doubled to about 200 per day recently. However, for the past two days, it has fallen again to about 100. UNHCR staff believe the decline is probably due to heavy rains that have slowed the difficult journey of Sierra Leoneans who come by foot, sometimes walking for up to a week before reaching the camp. Among the recent arrivals were three refugees wounded by shrapnel.
There are about 200 former fighters in the camp, including 11 child soldiers identified by the International Rescue Committee. IRC has also identified 74 unaccompanied children. UNHCR is providing assistance to more than 350,000 Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea.
In Sierra Leone itself, UN agencies and international NGOs have registered approximately 92,000 newly displaced persons since the fighting resumed in May. The largest concentrations are found in the Port Loko District, Tonkolili District and the Western Area.
Meanwhile, UNHCR in Guinea has completed the repatriation of 360 refugees from Guinea Conakry to Guinea Bissau. The operation started on Friday 16 June and was completed in six flights. Transport by minibus was organised upon arrival at Bissau, to Bafata and Bambadica, two towns in the centre of Guinea Bissau where most of the refugees originated.