The UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, says it fears the latest fighting outside Monrovia will affect humanitarian efforts in Liberia. Millicent Mutuli is a UNHCR spokesperson. From Geneva, she told English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua the fighting has caused panic resulting in more people fleeing to the already overcrowded capital.
Ms. Mutuli says the UNHCR has not received any more reports of refugees being harassed by government soldiers. But the agency says it has placed monitors along with government representatives in the refugee camps.
The fighting, however, has not yet interfered with the repatriation of Sierra Leonean refugees. A ship chartered to take the refugees home made its fourth voyage yesterday, evacuating nearly 300 people. Since July 4th, over 12-hundred Sierra Leoneans have returned home.
The UNHCR spokesperson says the agency has been unable to bring in large supplies of food because suppliers fearlooting, so that has slowed humanitarian efforts. Also, there are fears of fuel shortages, which could also affect relief operations.
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