Gabon: Former Refugees Can Move Forward With Their Lives

Posted by Eric Benjaminson
October 19, 2011
Congolese Refugee Shows Voluntary Return Form
Woman Crosses Border into Congo
Man Returns Home After Exile in Gabon

Many of us have closely followed the situation of Congolese refugees in Gabon. I applaud the productive collaboration between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Government of Gabon and the Republic of Congo (ROC), under the Tripartite Agreement that made it possible for refugees who fled the 1997-2003 conflict in Congo to resolve their status. Given the improved situation in Congo, UNHCR provided support to many former refugees to voluntarily return home, arranging convoys and increasing stipends for returnees. The Gabonese Government made it possible for refugees who had established new lives in Gabon to remain in the country.

To this end, both the Gabonese Government and UNHCR made compromises and contributions. UNHCR facilitated fees for the refugees' residence permits and the Gabonese Government agreed to relax its documentation requirements. The process moved smoothly and quickly to reach a common objective of meeting international standards. As a result, 5,400 former refugees have received permits to reside in Gabon.

As Ambassador, I applaud the generosity of the Gabonese government and the people of Gabon for opening doors to fellow Africans during their time of need. The end result is that the former Congolese refugees can move forward with their lives.



Mick E.
October 20, 2011

Mick writes:

I have been following news on the Congolese refugees. Thank you for your post on this topic. The graphic for this article seems to be busted, because it does not appear in my browser. However, part of the effort for the refugees is getting enough aid in the form of food and shelter which will allow the refugees to maintain lean body mass. Maintaining health and alert mental capacity during challenging times such as these will lead to a more stable and cooperative population for the future. The Department of States involvement is imperative.

abubaker i.
October 24, 2011

Abubaker I. in Cameroon writes:

Thank You so much, Gabon as a great nation and responsible government. God bless Gabon. You have saving your people your African nations. Thank You UNHCR, may God bless You too, You have been paying your great best efforts.


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