Liberian has approved the relocation of Sierra Leonean refugees from Lofa County in the north to the Sinje refugee camp in Grand Cape Mount County, some 80 km north-west of Monrovia, UNHCR reported on Wednesday. The executive director of the Liberia Refugee Repatriation Commission (LRRRC), Alexander Kulue, gave UNHCR officials in Monrovia approval for the move on Tuesday.
"As soon as the message was received we despatched a convoy of ten trucks from Monrovia to Tarvey Village (in lower Lofa County) to transport the first batch of refugees to Sinje," James Lynch, Deputy UNHCR Representative for Liberia, said.
Sinje camp hosts some 5,000 Sierra Leonean refugees but is able
to hold an additional 15,000 to 20,000, according to UNHCR. The agency said 350 of the most vulnerable refugees were moved from Lofa Country to Sinje last week. The UNHCR said it insisted on the transfer after refugees reported being constantly harassed by Liberian security forces.
Following dissident activity in Lofa county in early August some 10,000 Sierra Leonean refugees walked from the camps near Kolahun in Upper Lofa County to Tarvey village farther to the south, UNHCR said. Some 35,000 Sierra Leonean refugees were living in camps in Lofa County before the fighting in August. Liberia hosts about 90,000 Sierra Leonean refugees.
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