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UNHCR: Refugee Status Ends for Angolans, Liberians

  • VOA News

Mane Kumar-Johnson, 39, wears a headpiece of palm leaves designed to resemble the Statue of Liberty as she and the residents of the VOA refugee camp sing gospel songs to welcome the U.S. assessment team who visited the camp outside the Liberian capital Mo

Mane Kumar-Johnson, 39, wears a headpiece of palm leaves designed to resemble the Statue of Liberty as she and the residents of the VOA refugee camp sing gospel songs to welcome the U.S. assessment team who visited the camp outside the Liberian capital Mo

The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) says Angolans and Liberian refugees who live abroad are no longer regarded as refugees.

The UNHCR says their refugee status came to an end Saturday because both countries have "enjoyed many years of peace and stability after bitter civil wars."

Adrian Edwards, a UNHCR spokesman, said the agency is working with the governments of origin and of asylum to find solutions for refugees who wish either to return home or to remain in their host countries.

Edwards said UNHCR will continue to assist voluntary returns. He said the agency will also continue to assist people in discussions about local integration or alternative legal status.

The ending of refugee status for Liberians will apply to people who left the country during the two civil wars that tore apart the country between 1989 and 2003.

The end of refugee status for Angolans will apply to those who fled during the 1965-1975 war of independence from Portugal and the subsequent civil war that ended in 2002.

UNHCR has been supporting projects in both countries aimed at easing the reintegration of the returnees.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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