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Liberian returnees accuse gov’t of ‘abandonment’

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Liberian returnees residing in Lutheran Global Village, Bong County say they have been abandoned by the Government of Liberia despite many calls for support to their livelihoods.

They told our Bong County correspondent during a recent interview that the government has done nothing about their welfare since they repatriated from Guinea about ten years ago.

According to the administrator of the town, Morris Sulun-ker-menie, they have always engaged the Liberian Refugee Repatriation & Resettlement Commission (LRRC) about the challenges they are faced with, but to no avail

Mr. Sulun-ker-menie said houses in the town were constructed through the support of the Asia Focus Australia, an organization within the Lutheran Church in Australia, and not the Government of Liberia as has been speculated.

 “We have been here for ten years now but we have not received anything from the government. We have been calling on them to help us through the LRRC but sometimes they will only say that they got the message, but they can’t come to help us” he added.

Mr. Sulun-ker-menie said lives for former Refugees in the area are becoming unbearable as the only junior High school they constructed is currently in a very deplorable condition.

Krubo Kennedy, one of the women leaders of the town, told journalists that life continues to be unbearable for inhabitants of the community as a result of the government’s alleged abandonment.

She said their town was also allegedly left out during the distribution of materials, referencing the Covid-19 stimulus package as an example.

“They can always come and jump over this town, we have been crying on them to help us but no way. Recently when people were taking names for the Covid-19 rice, they left us out. So why are they treating us like this? What wrong did we do to come to our own Country?” she added.

Our correspondent who visited the town over the weekend says many of the returnees escaped to Guinea in search of refuge during the devastating civil war that led to the death of about 250,000 from 1989 to 2003.

When the conflict ended, some of them voluntarily returned to Liberia and had no alternative but to begin a new life in Global Village, Zota District.

Officials at the LRRRC have not spoken to the citizens’ concerns about whether or not they have been sending support to them as all efforts to contact them have proven fruitless.

The LRRRC is mandated by an act to coordinate, monitor and supervise all humanitarian activities in Liberia.

 The commission is the government’s lead agency for repatriation, resettlement, and reintegration. It is also responsible for the general coordination of activities including inter-agency coordination, and organization of sectoral meetings, as well as community mobilization which is a key activity by the commission.

The mobilization of relief assistance to persons of concern and vulnerable, and refugees protection and protection monitoring, are important activities of the commission.By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong County

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