United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 1998 - Gambia, 1 January 1998, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a8b21c.html [accessed 19 June 2013]
This 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.
Gambia hosted about 8,000 refugees at the end of 1997, including more than 5,000 from Sierra Leone and an estimated 3,000 from Senegal. Nearly 2,000 Sierra Leonean refugees arrived in Gambia during 1997, UNHCR reported. Many fled by boat from Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, following a military coup in May. They joined about 3,000 Sierra Leonean refugees in Gambia who had previously fled Sierra Leone's long conflict. Although UNHCR described the Gambian authorities' response to the influx as "quite positive," the U.S. Department of State reported that Gambia prevented some male Sierra Leoneans from disembarking in Banjul, the Gambian capital. Estimates of the number of Senegalese refugees in Gambia ranged from about 1,700, according to UNHCR, to about 3,500, according to the U.S. State Department. UNHCR reported that about 750 Senegalese refugees lived in three camps in Gambia. The U.S. State Department reported that about 1,500 Senegalese refugees arrived in Gambia during 1997, fleeing renewed conflict in Senegal's Casamance region. UNHCR noted that while some recently arrived refugees remained in Gambia at year's end, others returned to Senegal after a few days or weeks.