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Guinea: UNHCR completes evacuation of refugees from the Parrot's Beak region

Briefing notes

Guinea: UNHCR completes evacuation of refugees from the Parrot's Beak region

29 May 2001

UNHCR completed on Sunday the evacuation of refugees from the insecure Parrot's Beak region of south-western Guinea. A total of 54,000 refugees have been transferred to safety since February.

During the most recent evacuation that began in early May, UNHCR and its partners transported nearly 14,000 refugees to safety in new sites in northern Kissidougou and to Central Guinea. Between February and March, some 40,000 other refugees fled the Parrot's Beak following a spate of attacks in the Guéckédou area. They walked to Katkama, mid-way between Guéckédou and Kissidougou, from where UNHCR transferred them to the newly established sites.

The evacuation from the Parrot's Beak area has been voluntary and some refugees have opted to remain in the volatile zone. The refugees who have decided to remain in the area expressed the wish to stay put until they are able to go back to Sierra Leone, rather than start afresh in new camps further inland.

With the completion of the relocation, UNHCR is terminating its assistance programmes in the Parrot's Beak region. UNHCR's material assistance to refugees will now only be provided in the new sites where the Guinean government can ensure physical safety of the refugees.

At the same time, UNHCR continues to transfer refugees out the Forécariah area, south-east of Conakry. The refugees can choose between relocation to a new site in central Guinea or voluntary return to Sierra Leone.