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Guinea: Parrot's Beak relief operation gathers momentum

Briefing notes

Guinea: Parrot's Beak relief operation gathers momentum

6 March 2001

A relief operation for tens of thousands of people stranded in Guinea's volatile Parrot's Beak region is gathering momentum, with more and more trucks ferrying food to villages and encampments dotting the Parrot's Beak area. By the end of this week, relief agencies are hoping to reach Kolomba at the very tip of the Parrot's Beak. The Kolomba area holds some 30,000 people who have gone without aid for months. To date, UNHCR convoys carrying WFP food have reached nearly 29,000 people scattered in 13 villages and camps of the Parrot's Beak. Those reached to date are mostly Sierra Leonean and Liberian refugees, but there are also nearly 6,000 internally displaced Guineans among them. Once food has reached all the areas of the Parrot's Beak, UNHCR will start transferring the refugee population into the interior of Guinea. The movement may start by the end of March.

Meanwhile, UNHCR has stopped the daily transfer of refugees from the ruined Katkama camp in the volatile Guéckédou area, since all those present in Katkama have been now moved to a new camp deeper inside Guinea. The transfer, however, will continue on an ad hoc basis, as new refugees keep trickling into the camp from the Parrot's Beak. A total of 17,479 refugees have been moved inside Guinea. At least one third of them are believed to be willing to return to Sierra Leone or Liberia.