United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 1998 - Guinea-Bissau, 1 January 1998, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a8bc6.html [accessed 24 April 2017]
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.
Guinea-Bissau hosted 4,000 or more refugees from Senegal at the end of 1997. An armed insurgency in Senegal during the 1990s has pushed at least several thousand refugees into Guinea-Bissau. Refugees have entered or left Guinea-Bissau depending on the prevailing insecurity in Senegal. Refugees primarily lived without UNHCR assistance in small villages near the Senegalese border. Some reports have placed the refugee population in Guinea-Bissau as high as 15,000. That figure, however, based on the number of food aid recipients in earlier years, reportedly included nationals of Guinea-Bissau who had returned to their country from Senegal, as well as local people in the refugee area. An estimated 3,000 or more refugees lived in the border area, according to UNHCR. Renewed conflict in Senegal in late 1997 pushed additional refugees into Guinea-Bissau. "[I]ncreasing insecurity in Casamance led to [an] influx of new arrivals in Guinea-Bissau," UNHCR reported. "Most of the new arrivals go back after a few days or weeks, [but] some put their families with relatives invillages and [then] go back," the agency said. About 750 refugees occupied a special UNHCR-prepared site, Jolmete, 60 km from the border, the agency reported. Refugees were apparently hesitant to relocate to the site, however. In late 1997, military authorities in Senegal accused Senegalese rebels of recruiting combatants from refugee villages in Guinea-Bissau. Authorities in Guinea-Bissau reportedly decided to register Senegalese refugees in early 1998 in preparation for moving them farther south, away from the border area.