Ivorian refugees are returning home as the conflict comes to an end

Ivorian children rejoin their families Ivorian children rejoin their families Staticflickr

20 June 2022

Thanks to the resolution of the 20-year-long conflict in Côte d’Ivoire and the cessation of the refugee status, former refugees are going back home

On 20 June Ivorian refugees started returning to their homes in Côte d’Ivoire, ahead of the formal end of Ivorian refugee status expiring on 30 June. The cessation of refugee status comes following the peaceful resolution of two decades of intermittent civil conflict in Côte d’Ivoire. Because of the conflict around 300,000 people were forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in neighboring countries. Under the terms of the cessation clauses, countries hosting Ivorian refugees are urged to facilitate their voluntary repatriation or, for those who prefer staying, to facilitate their local integration, acquisition of permanent residency and naturalisation. 

96% of Ivorians have decided to go back home. The UNHCR -  the UN Refugee Agency - is organizing weekly transportation for Ivorians in Liberia wishing to go back home. While those who are returning to Côte d’Ivoire might find it challenging, the government has committed its support to their reintegration and local communities are being welcomed. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, celebrated the World Refugee Day in Côte d’Ivoire with former refugees who had returned home. The High Commissioner also guaranteed the continued support of UNHCR to Côte d’Ivoire and the neighboring countries hosting Ivorian refugees to implement the cessation clauses and assist those who want to return to Côte d’Ivoire. 

 

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by Lorena Bisignano
editor Tiago Cotogni

 

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