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Ivory Coast wants refugees home

LRRRC boss Cllr. AblaGadegbeku Williams and Ivorian Minster MariatuKone surrounded by others Liberian and Ivorian officials

The Ivorian Minister of Solidarity, Social Cohesion and Compensation Madam MariatuKone and the Executive Director of the Liberia Refugee, Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) Cllr. AblaGadegbeku Williams, along with the UNHCR Country Representative to Ivory Coast have met with Ivorian refugees in Bahn, Nimba County, Liberia and encouraged them to return home.

The Ivorian Minister told her fellow citizens seeking refugee here that it was time for them to return home and help build their country, Ivory Coast. “We have conducted two elections without any problem; we the Ivorians need you to return home and help build the country”, she pleaded.

Several thousand Ivorians sought refuge in Liberia during dispute over the 2010 elections that led to civil war and eventual ousting of President Laurent Gbargbo, who is being tried along with his wife in The Hague for alleged war crime.

A truce was brokered by the United Nations and the man widely claimed to have won the disputed polls, AlassaneOuattara was sworn in as President. Mr. Ouattara is currently serving a second term in office after re-election in 2015.

But the refugees, many of whom are physically challenged, wanted to know who they will meet back home after their education in Liberia as they lost their entire families and properties in the war. However, the executive director for the Liberia Refugee, Repatriation and Resettlement Commission Cllr. AblaGadegbeku Williams, has pledged the Liberian government support to the repatriation process of Ivorian refugees in the country.

Cllr. Williams said the Government of Liberia is committed to ensuring that all Ivorian refugees residing in Liberia return home voluntarily and peacefully to help rebuild their country. Under its voluntary repatriation program, the UN refugee agency – UNHCR has voluntarily repatriated hundreds of Ivorian refugees in the last two years. Most of the refugees had settled in camps in Grand Gedeh and Nimba Counties, respectively. By Franklin Doloquee, Nimba-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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