The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) will resume voluntary repatriation of Cote d’Ivoire refugees from Liberia after the program was suspended in July last year due to Ebola outbreak in Liberia.
“UNHCR and the Cote d’Ivoire as well as Liberian governments have agreed on the lifting of this suspension,” UNHCR resident representative in Cote d’Ivoire Mohamed Toure said in a statement sent to Xinhua on Monday.
The repatriation process is expected to resume on April 6, 2015 under tight security measures established by the two countries, the statement said.
Let’s recall that since political violence was introduced to Cote d’Ivoire by the Northerners Rebellion from 2002 to 2010, over 250,000 targeted Ivorians fled their country to neighbouring countries for their safety.
Out of the 250,000 Cote d’Ivoire nationals who fled their country since the outbreak of political violence in 2002 and 2010, 38,000 are still living in three refugee camps in Liberia.
It is alleged that through the assistance of UNHCR, about 205,000 managed to return to their country since 2011 before the program was suspended last July over Ebola epidemic.
“The voluntary repatriation of all Cote d’Ivoire refugees is a priority for the Cote d’Ivoire government and UNHCR is committed to facilitating the process in strict adherence to the security and dignity of the refugees and in accordance with the necessary health measures put in place on the two sides of the border,”