LIBERIA: Ebola Stalls Repatriation in Grand Gedeh County

The Liberia Refugee. Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, has temporarily halted the repatriation of refugees in the county as a result of the outbreak of Ebola in the country.

LRRRC Grand Gedeh Coordinator Joseph Cooper made the disclosure to reporters traveling with Information Minister Lewis Brown during a news conference at his Zwedru office in Grand Gedeh County on Friday.

According to the Liberia News Agency, he said the decision is intended to help the Government minimize the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

He said repatriating refugees during the period of a major disease outbreak is dangerous to both the refugees and thost communities.

Meanwhile, Mr. Cooper has disclosed that the LRRRC has closed three refugee camps in Grand Gedeh, which were less than 25km from the border.

He said the refugees from those camps were transferred to the PTP Refugee camp situated 75km away from the Ivorian border.

This measure, according to Cooper, is in keeping with security recommendations from the Liberian Government to reduce cross-border insurgencies in compliance with international refugee conventions and protocols.

He said Ziah, Dogee and Solo refugee camps were those affected, noting, “The refugees from these camps were reasonable and did exactly as they were instructed”.

The LRRRC Coordinator told the journalists that the refugee population has reduced from 75,000 to about 20,000.

He thanked the people of Grand Gedeh for their support to the Ivorian refugees by giving them land to farm, as well as opening their homes to provide shelter for the refugees.

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