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Sierra Leone: no major new outflow ... yet

Briefing notes

Sierra Leone: no major new outflow ... yet

8 January 1999

The High Commissioner has been following the upsurge in fighting in Sierra Leone with alarm. She welcomes the news of a cease-fire and believes that a political solution supported by all African nations affected by the crisis is the only way to put an end to the tragic cycle of violence and refugee flows which have plagued that African country for years. So far, UNHCR has not seen a major new outflow of refugees from Sierra Leone of the kind we saw last year. But unless violence stops now we will inevitably face a new refugee crisis. There are already 440,000 Sierra Leone refugees in Guinea and Liberia which makes them Africa's single largest refugee population.