Go Back To Your Towns, Villages
-UN Tells IDPs


Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

October 13, 2004

With the seeming beam of light at the end of the tunnel, dwellers who were forced out of their towns and villages as a result of the Liberian civil nightmare, have been signalled to go back home in order to reconstruct their livelihoods; writes R. Karpeh Reeves.

Abou Moussa, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) of the United Nations and Coordinator on Humanitarian Affairs, made the call recently at the Besaymah Internally Displaced Camp in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, when he formed part of programs marking the grand opening of the World Food Programme’s (WFP) additional seven sub offices throughout Liberia. Ambassador Moussa said instead of continuously roaming about in displaced camps and awaiting rations, it would be more prudent that they (internally displaced persons) return home in order to restart their lives since security is gradually improving throughout the length and breadth of the country.

“We want to make you to know that at the end of this month (October), we will be having you returned to your communities. We think that is the most important thing to do. No matter whatever food we give you, I think you have to start to stand on your own,” Ambassador Moussa urged them.

Additionally, the UN Deputy Special Envoy told the IDPs that as a testimony to their safe return home, within the next coming days and weeks, the UN will be talking to them about the details of the resettlement plans to be able to start their lives again. “No matter the amount of support we give you, it can never replace what you yourself can do. Our role is to have peace where you were so that you can return there in safety. After all, you need security and that is why we want to make sure we support you,” he assured the IDPs.

Also at the WFP sub offices’ opening program at the premises of the Liberia Mining Company’s residential loop in Buchanan, Amb. Moussa said the opening of the offices was a “testimony to the fact that the international community is once again dedicating itself to reaching to those in need.” He said the step by WFP to expand its activities throughout the country also represents “yet another milestone in our efforts to bridge the gap.”

For his part, WFP Representative to Liberia, Justin Bagirishya, in his opening speech praised the Liberian media for the level of publicity carried out when his organization sent out an SOS call for a US$ 6.6 million assistance to enable the WFP complete its task for 2004. “Today, I say we need US$ 1.5 million to feed our beneficiaries until the end of the year. This is the result of your work and this is also the response that we received from the donor community,” he revealed.

Touching on the upcoming priorities of WFP, Mr. Bagirishya outlined three basic ones, to include Repatriation and Resettlement; School feeding; and Vulnerability, Assessment and Mapping. Currently, WFP sub offices are now opened in Sacleapea, Ganta, Nimba County; Voinjama, Lofa County; Tubmanburg, Bomi County, and Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.