Liberian Refugees Adhere To UNHCR Deadline
The ‘last’ batch of Liberian refugees spread across the West African sub-regions has begun returning home ahead of the June 30, 2012 UNHCR deadline for the repatriation of Liberian refugees.
Speaking on a local radio station in Monrovia yesterday, the Public Relations Officer of the UNHCR Mr. Sulaiman Momodu said dozens of refugees have returned home from neighboring countries including Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Ghana in the past weeks. He added that about 80 Liberian refugees were expected to return home today (Saturday).
Early this year, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) set June 30 as the deadline for Liberian refugees to return home, or decide to integrate as citizens of their respective countries of refuge, stressing that the refugee agency would end its support to the refugees.
According to Mr. Momodu, the refugee law indicates that the Commission can end the status of refugees when fundamental conditions in their country of origin stabilize, and favorable for their return.
“In practical terms, what it means is that Liberians all over the world will no longer be considered as refugees as of the first day of July 1,2012 ” he said.
The UNHCR Spokesperson said the voluntary repatriation process of Liberian refugees began in 2004, and thousands of refugees have since returned home.