Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 July 2014, 14:54 GMT

U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2003 - Guinea-Bissau

Publisher United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Publication Date 1 June 2003
Cite as United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2003 - Guinea-Bissau , 1 June 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3eddc48914.html [accessed 23 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Guinea-Bissau hosted about 7,000 refugees at the end of 2002, including some 6,000 from Senegal, and up to 1,000 from other countries, primarily from Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Refugees from Senegal

A 20-year insurgency in Senegal has periodically pushed refugees into Guinea-Bissau. Some 6,000 Senegalese refugees lived in Guinea-Bissau at the start of 2002, and approximately the same number remained there at year's end.

Most refugees resided amid local villages along the country's 200-mile (320 km) border with Senegal. Several hundred lived in Jolmete camp, about 25 miles (40 km) from the border.

Occupants of Jolmete camp received health services, water, and access to schools. Funding constraints forced aid workers to curtail some assistance programs.

A report by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in June noted that Guinea-Bissau's border area with Senegal remained "stable," but expressed concern that Senegal's violence could spill across the border into refugee areas.

Authorities in Guinea-Bissau and Senegal have long charged that some refugees and asylum seekers in the border area were Senegalese rebels.

Despite the presence of refugees in Guinea-Bissau and lingering concerns about their safety, budget constraints prompted the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to close its office in Guinea-Bissau at the end of 2001.

UNHCR staff in neighboring Senegal monitored refugees' needs in Guinea-Bissau during 2002.

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