News / Africa

Thousands of Ivorians, Liberians Being Repatriated

An Ivorian girl holds a 10 Liberian dollar banknote as she goes to buy food for her family in a camp housing more than 2,600 Ivorian refugees, with more arriving daily, in Solo Town, Liberia, May 25, 2011.
An Ivorian girl holds a 10 Liberian dollar banknote as she goes to buy food for her family in a camp housing more than 2,600 Ivorian refugees, with more arriving daily, in Solo Town, Liberia, May 25, 2011.
Lisa Schlein

Thousands of Ivorian refugees living in Liberia and thousands of Liberian refugees in Ivory Coast are being voluntarily repatriated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. Refugee Agency.  The refugees are returning to homes they fled during civil wars.

An estimated 79,000 Ivorian refugees still live in Liberia and up to 24,000 Liberian refugees in Ivory Coast.

The IOM says it plans to return 15,000 Ivorian and 15,000 Liberian refugees by the end of June.  This will bring to an end the organized voluntary repatriation operation for the Liberian refugees.

But IOM spokesman Jumbe Omari Jumbe says the operation will be extended until the end of the year for the Ivorians, to give them more time to consider whether they want to return.

"I cannot say that the fears are completely eliminated," said Jumbe.  "There are pockets of places, which still - they tell us when we register them - some of them express that they cannot return.  And that is why the whole exercise is voluntary."  

Between 2002 and 2004, civil war broke out between then Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo and the rebel New Forces Movement.  Gbagbo lost the 2010 presidential election to Alassane Ouattara, but refused to relinquish power.  The second Ivorian Civil War erupted in early 2011 between forces loyal to Gbagbo and Ouattara, the internationally recognized president-elect.

At the peak of the crisis, more than 200,000 Ivorian refugees sought refuge in Liberia.  Smaller numbers fled to Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea.  Most have returned home, following the end of the civil war and improvement in security.

IOM spokesman Jumbe says the situation of the Liberian refugees in Ivory Coast is of much longer duration.  

"Some of them have been there since the 1990s when the first Liberian war started," noted Jumbe.  "And others since the end of the second Liberian war - that is 2003...  As for the Liberians living in Cote d'Ivoire, the operation will continue up until June, because in June the Liberians living in Ivory Coast will lose their status of refugees.  They will no longer enjoy the refugee status."  

Jumbe says once the Ivorian and Liberian returnees reach their final destination, the International Organization for Migration will provide them with essential non-food items to help them restart their lives.  He says the World Food Program will give them a one-month supply of food.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More