Follow our new WhatsApp channel

See updates
  1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. West Africa

UNHCR relocates refugees in Guinea

[South Africa] President Thabo Mbeki. Jacoline Prinsloo
South African President Thabo Mbeki
UNHCR said it had started relocating 50,000 Sierra Leonean and Liberian refugees from six camps near the Sierra Leone border to safer locations further inland. A UNHCR spokesman told IRIN on Thursday that the US $4 million operation had started on Monday and was expected to take up to four months. The six camps being vacated at Dakongo, Yaegbadou, Konin, Sowadou, Komandou and Gelema were considered vulnerable to rebel attacks and infiltration. He said the government had expressed its concern about the situation during a recent visit by Sadako Ogata, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Abou Moussa, UNHCR Regional Director for West and Central Africa, said: "The decision to relocate the refugees corresponds with the wish of the Guinean authorities and UNHCR to avoid casualties among refugees during violent incursions by rebels from Sierra Leone." The transfer was in conformity with the OAU convention on refugees which recommends settlements 50 km from the nearest border, he added. The refugees would be housed in Katkama in Gueckedou prefecture in southwest Guinea. The spokesman said there was a total of about 350,000 Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea of whom about 210,000 are already in Gueckedou area. Most fled last year when rebels, expelled from the capital Freetown, went on the rampage with a campaign of amputations and mutilation in the countryside.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article

Get the day’s top headlines in your inbox every morning

Starting at just $5 a month, you can become a member of The New Humanitarian and receive our premium newsletter, DAWNS Digest.

DAWNS Digest has been the trusted essential morning read for global aid and foreign policy professionals for more than 10 years.

Government, media, global governance organisations, NGOs, academics, and more subscribe to DAWNS to receive the day’s top global headlines of news and analysis in their inboxes every weekday morning.

It’s the perfect way to start your day.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian today and you’ll automatically be subscribed to DAWNS Digest – free of charge.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.

Join