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Guinea/Sierra Leone: UNHCR contingency plans

Briefing notes

Guinea/Sierra Leone: UNHCR contingency plans

12 May 2000

UNHCR is making contingency planning for a possible large-scale influx of Sierra Leoneans into Guinea. In Forécariah, in the west, we now have the capacity to accommodate 10,000 additional refugees in the new camp of Kalako. In Guéckédou area, which borders on the eastern edge of Sierra Leone, we are expanding the capacity of the existing camps of Kalakto and Baladou. We are also looking at the option of re-opening the Guelo site, which was closed in February last year.

So far, however, only a few hundred people have arrived in Guinea from Sierra Leone, most in Guinea's coastal Forécariah province and only a handful into the Guéckédou area. On Thursday, there were no new arrivals and the border seems to have been sealed by rebel forces.

The situation in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, is tense but calm. U.N. agencies visited the town of Waterloo, 30 kilometres south-east of Freetown, yesterday, to assess the situation of 15,000 to 20,000 displaced people who arrived during the last 4 days, coming from nearby villages. Another 20,000 have flooded in Freetown itself. Both groups need food, water and proper shelter even though they are generally in good shape.