Authorities of the Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) said there are no more Sierra Leonean refugees in the country. As such, it is taken aback by a protest recently carried out by a group claiming to be refugees from the neighboring country demanding resettlement benefits.
The LRRRC in a recent press statement said those requesting for resettlement in a third country should rethink their decision or back off from disturbing public peace whether now or in the future, because the Commission has no more record of Sierra Leonean refugees in the country.
According to the press statement, “In 2008, the cessation clause for Liberians and Sierra Leonean refugees the world over was invoked, thereby ending the refugee status of Sierra Leoneans residing in Liberia.
“Also in 2016, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Geneva, Switzerland Office issued a circular informing its offices that all refugees in the sub-region, including Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, will no longer receive international protection assistance from the agency, specifically given the fact that there is a prevailing improved political situation in those countries,” the statement said.
The Geneva circular also informed the UNHCR offices in the three war-affected countries to begin working with the case load for possible integration and voluntary repatriation.
According to the release, 85 family heads, totaling a number of 295 individuals, including children, were given livelihood assistance from the UNHCR, and they (former refugees) signed appropriate documentation separating them from the status of refugee and became integrated into the communities.
The Commission said considering that Sierra Leone has had at least two or more democratic elections, there is no doubt that the sister country to Liberia is safe for not only its citizens but anyone else from around the world.
“The LRRRC is pleased to inform the public that UNHCR provided some financial assistance to some of the remaining Sierra Leonean refugees at that time in Liberia upon their presentation of business plans, and since then, this Commission is aware that those who did not return have been integrated in the country already,” the statement said.
The Commission said due to some security concerns, UNHCR granted asylum to 65 of the former Sierra Leonean refugees and that they are peacefully residing in the country.