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10.06.2007 General News

Liberian refugees repatriated


A total of 300 Liberian refugees were on Saturday repatriated to their country by air and sea.

The exercise, which saw 70 of them going by air and 230 by sea, was a collaboration of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Ghana Refugee Board and the International Organisation for Migration.

In a pre-departure interview with journalists, Jabateh Marah, a 60-year-old refugee who had been living in Ghana for the past six years, said he looked forward to a new life with lots of hope.

Touching on the civil war, he said tribalism and lack of understanding was the main cause and advised Liberians to cooperate with each other, as well as the new government in order to sustain the peace they were now enjoying.

"I will miss Ghana and I hope to be back some time," said 16-year-old Gabriel Sallor who came to Ghana when he was seven years old.

He said although it hurt to leave, Liberia was his country and it was only appropriate for him to go back there.

On June 30, 2007, the three year organised repatriation of Liberian refugees comes to an end.

Until then, the UNHCR and its partners would continue with a combination of air and sea movements to assist all those wishing to return.

A total of 100,000 Liberians have returned home from the sub-region with UNHCR assistance whilst 50,032 have gone back on their own. Ghana currently hosts some 26,000 Liberian refugees.

Source: GNA