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Côte d'ivoire / Liberia: Lost children reunited with loved ones

20-12-2002 News Release 02/84

Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has repatriated nine Liberian children from Côte d'Ivoire and reunited them with their parents.

The children were living, unaccompanied by adults, as refugees in the Tabou area of southwestern Côte d'Ivoire.

The current conflict in Côte d'Ivoire made it an urgent priority for the ICRC delegation in Monrovia to find the childrens parents in Liberia. The recent fighting in western Côte d'Ivoire has further displaced many unaccompanied Liberian refugee children registered by the ICRC before the present crisis.

This year, the organization's delegations in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Côte d'Ivoire have registered hundreds of unaccompanied minors of Liberian nationality, that is, children who are not being looked after by any member of their family. The children have been given the opportunity to write Red Cross messages (brief personal messages delivered through the Red Cross network) to their families in Liberia. Each has been accompanied by a photograph.

The ICRC carries out a great deal of cross-border tracing in behalf of unaccompanied children in West Africa, reuniting them with their families when this is possible and when both parties agree.

 Further information: Juan Martinez,  

  ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 2281