The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or UNHCR announced here it has deployed the third and fourth voluntary repatriation convoys planned before end of 2015.
In a press release issued Tuesday, 22 December UNHCE says one convoy, carrying 246 people, set off from the Little Wlebo refugee camp in Harper, east of Liberia to Tabou, at the south-west of Côte d’Ivoire.
It says the second convoy departed simultaneously from the PTP refugee camp in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County towards Toulepleu in west Côte d’Ivoire, carrying 226 people.
As done by the previous two convoys, the returnees will arrive in the respective transit centres where they will receive a hot meal and will undergo medical screening. Additionally, information on the process to follow will be provided by the government of Côte d’Ivoire and UNHCR so as to facilitate their reintegration in their home country. Other assets like food rations, kitchen utensils, mosquito nets, amongst others will be provided by WFP and UNHCR.
The Voluntary Repatriation of tens of thousands of Ivorian refugees from Liberia was officially resumed on 18 December, when 645 persons returned home from the Little Wlebo and PTP refugee camps.
The resumption was launched with an official ceremony in Prollo led by the UNHCR Representative in Liberia Ms. NdeyeNdour, with the participation of the Special Representative of the Secretary General in Liberia, the Executive Director of the Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC, Acting Maryland County Superintendent, and other local Government officials.
The says the convoy was received by the UNHCR Representative in Cote d’Ivoire, Mr Mohamed Toure, accompanied by Ivorian Government Officials including the Secretary General of the Ministry of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Claude Beke, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Cote d’Ivoire and other partners.
During the official ceremony, both governments, the SRSGs and UNHCR reiterated their commitment to the refugees to facilitate their reintegration for those who return and the repatriation process for those who are still in the countries of asylum.
On their behalf, the release says the returnees expressed immense gratitude for materializing the long expected day of returning home.
Meanwhile, the process is expected to resume mid-January 2016 after a holiday pause. By the end of the year, the number of Ivorian refugees in Liberia will be around 37,000, of whom 10,000 continue to have the desire to return home.Press Release