The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Liberia has a new representative. She is Madam Fatima Mohammed.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, Madam Mohammed presented her Letters of Accreditation to Madam Marjon Kamara at her Foreign Ministry office last Friday, January 12, 2018.
She congratulated Liberians on the peaceful conduct of the elections; noting that Liberia has made Africa proud and looks forward to the upcoming Inauguration next Monday, January 22.
Madam Mohammed, who headed the UNHCR's sub-office in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, for three years said she was delighted to return to Liberia which is her first assignment as UNHCR Representative. "I enjoyed work in Liberia because the Government was very cooperative," she said.
She noted that her primary focus will be looking at Ivorian refugees residing in Liberia.
She noted that the UNHCR is moving into the phase of local integration and will definitely work with the line ministries to see that the refugee program is integrated into the Liberian national framework.
Madam Mohammed promised to support Liberia particularly to help improve the issues dealing with registration of births as well as legal aspects, including naturalization for Sierra Leoneans who have opted to remain in Liberia.
"This year, with voluntary repatriation successfully closed, and looking into local integration, we will prioritize these caseloads so that we close them once and for all," Madam Mohammed told Foreign Minister Kamara; adding, "We will also be looking at legal aspects like Liberia ratifying outstanding conventions and agreements including the Kampala Convention, among others."
Responding, Foreign Minister Kamara said it was a pleasure to have received from Madam Mohammed's hands the Letters of Accreditation by which the UNHCR High Commissioner has assigned her as representative to Liberia.
She assured Madam Mohammed of the Foreign Ministry's fullest cooperation and working closely with her in the same spirit of friendship and solidarity that her predecessor worked with them.
Madam Kamara recounted UNHCR's assistance to Liberia during the years of conflict, but is proud now that refugee status has now been removed from Liberia.
She is hopeful that the peace and stability in the country will prevail and be sustained so compatriots have no cause to flee again.
She noted that the refugee program in Liberia is moving on to what is termed "durable solution" and have been sponsoring repatriation of Ivorian refugees for some time and now looking for other solutions for the residual caseloads.
Minister Kamara wished Madam Mohammed well and a successful tour of duty, and hoped that the UNHCR can find that "durable solution" for everybody that's left from Cote d'Ivoire.
Foreign Minister Kamara said though her tenure ends in about a week or so, as a former staff of UNHCR, she would be available to render any assistance to Madam Mohammed may need in the discharge of her duties in Liberia.