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Liberia: verification of Ivorian refugees begins

Briefing notes

Liberia: verification of Ivorian refugees begins

6 December 2004

On Monday, in north-eastern Liberia, UNHCR started a two-day verification exercise of registered Ivorian refugees after some of the more than 10,000 who sought sanctuary in the country last month began returning home.

The two-day exercise is being carried out in the twelve villages that saw an influx during first three weeks of November.

In Butuo, the largest influx area, where 7,000 refugees had been registered, turnout was low on the first day of verification. Some refugee families in the Butuo transit centre and at the Cestos River crossing point said many refugee families are shuttling between Butuo and Côte d'Ivoire as they continue to fear potential clashes between the Ivorian government and rebel troops.

Despite the relative calm that has followed the clashes in November, refugees report that people in Côte d'Ivoire are still haunted by the prospects of war.

The World Food Programme has airlifted food supplies in Butuo, for dispatch to the other refugee locations. UNHCR and its partners, in an effort to improve food delivery, are repairing roads which are currently impassable for trucks.