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High Commissioner in Sierra Leone

Briefing notes

High Commissioner in Sierra Leone

30 April 2004

High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers arrived in Freetown yesterday afternoon on the first leg of his eight-day mission to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. He was greeted at the airport by Sierra Leone's Deputy Foreign Minister and met briefly with the press. Mr. Lubbers emphasised that his visit to the region would focus on the last phase of repatriation of Sierra Leoneans from throughout the region - about to be completed after nearly four years - as well as ongoing efforts for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Sierra Leone, and the need to find a productive place in society for former combatants. The High Commissioner is scheduled to hold various meetings in Freetown today, including with President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah; with the Head of the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA), UNHCR's government counterpart in Sierra Leone; the UN country team; NGOs; and the Special Representative to the Secretary-General. He will make a short visit to Mapeh internment facility, a camp for ex-combatants near Freetown, before leaving for Guinea later today.