Thursday, February 23, 2012

Liberia: Over 2 Decades Welcome Ends

More than 60,000 Liberian refugees spread in countries of the West African sub region will no longer be accepted under such status beginning July 1 this year, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, warns in a major policy statement.

The mayhem that devastated Liberia for 14 years pushed hundreds of thousands of Liberians as refugees into many countries in the sub region, while many others fled overseas for safety.

Though many have returned over the years, statistics at UNHCR says a total of 62,903 Liberian refugees still live in Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, Gambia and other countries in the sub-region.

But UNHCR Public Information Officer, Mr. Sulaiman Momodu, told journalists that the circumstances, which prompted the mass exodus of people, have ended and "refugee status is not for ever".

"Refugee life is not for ever. It definitely ends at some point. So, as of July 1st, 2012, Liberians in those countries would no longer be considered as refugees.

"Before that date, you will have to choose either to repatriate to Liberia or integrate in the country where you have been residing as a refugee," he emphasized in an interview. Read More