(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

ICRC reunites children

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Saturday conducted the first cross-border reunification of Liberian children from Sierra Leone with their families, the ICRC reported on Tuesday.

The ten children had spent a year staying in refugee camps in southern Sierra Leone, namely Jembe, Gerihun, Gondama, Jimmi Bagbo and Bandajuma.

They children were driven from Kenema in Sierra Leone, by an ICRC team to the Mano river bridge and handed over to ICRC Liberia delegates who accompanied them to the Liberian capital, Monrovia, where eight of the ten were reunited with their families. The remaining two family reunions will
take place in the next days, ICRC said.

Christoph Schild, ICRC protection coordinator said "the reunification of these children was extremely important as children are best cared for by their families in difficult times."

"The ICRC had consulted with governmental and international agencies involved in tracing and child protection in Sierra Leone and Liberia to ensure the success of this first family reunification," the ICRC said. The ICRC carries out cross border tracing on behalf of unaccompanied children in West Africa, reuniting them with their families, when this is possible and when both parties agree.

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