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Liberians in Sierra Leone & Guinea

Briefing notes

Liberians in Sierra Leone & Guinea

11 October 2002

UNHCR has now completed the transfer away from the Sierra Leone border of over 3,400 Liberian refugees who arrived last week in the Kailahun district. They are now being sheltered at the Kailahun and Dauda way stations (1,600 and 800 people) in Sierra Leone, with the remainder taken to the Largo refugee camp. The refugees had fled fresh fighting in the Kolahun area, in Liberia's upper Lofa county.

Those refugees currently in way stations will have to be accommodated in more permanent sites as soon as capacity is increased. UNHCR is working with limited resources to extend the hosting capacity of newly created camps such as Largo, in Kenema district, and Gondama, in Bo district.

The flow of new arrivals in Kailahun has decreased significantly in the past few days. But arrivals are continuing in neighbouring Guinea, where 900 Liberian refugees have arrived from the Kolahun region since last week, including about 100 yesterday (Thursday). UNHCR is awaiting approval from Guinean authorities to transfer the new arrivals from the Tekoulou transit centre, south of Guéckédou, to one of our refugee camps further inland in Guinea.

So far this year, Sierra Leone has received more than 60,000 new Liberian refugees, while close to 30,000 have arrived in Guinea.