Liberia: February 25, 2004

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Nearly 3,000 registered Liberian refugees have spontaneously returned from neighboring countries since December 2003, but since the capital is Monrovia still in ruins, most have sought shelter in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. The UN refugee agency wasn't quite ready for these eager people, since they to wait until all 15,000 UNMIL troops was fully deployed in the interior and security there had improved.

The UNHCR figures that it will have facilitate the return and reintegration of an estimated 320,000 Liberian refugees, most of whom live in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Ghana, as well as 300,000 camp-based IDPs once the UN peacekeeping force. 

Meanwhile, the UNHCR will repatriate an estimated 13,900 Sierra Leonean refugees via truck convoys on 2 March. So far, 150,000 refugees have been returned to Sierra Leone and over 10,000 have shown an interest in repatriation since December 2003. - Adam Geibel

 

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