Insecurity stops Ivorian refugees from returning home

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UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) patrols the streets of Abobo, a district of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Over 30,000 Ivorian and Liberian refugees will be going back to their respective countries in a program sponsored by the International Organization for migration in partnership with the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

There are an estimated 79,000 Ivorian refugees living in Liberia and up to 24,000 Liberian refugees in Cote d’Ivoire.

Jumbe Omari Jumbe from IOM says the organization is planning to step up the repatriation process to meet the 30th June deadline when Liberians living in Cote d’Ivoire will no longer enjoy refugee status. But he says persistent insecurity in Cote d'Ivoire may slow down the return of Ivorian refugees.

"This operation will continue for the whole year, because we want people to be certain they want to return. There are still pockets in Ivory Coast that either IDP's or refuges still express that they cannot go back to. There are also other issues also not just security, the issues to landownership. There are people who have occupied lands of those who have moved out. This is a big issue and the government is doing what it can to resolve the problem."

Duration: 33″

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December 2017
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