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This research set out to examine the UNHCR’s response to the Liberian
refugee crisis. Data for the research was collected from secondary sources
alone. The study revealed that since the outbreak of the Liberian crisis, there
has been consistent displacement of people from their homes. While some
were internally displaced, others sought to take refuge outside their country.
Notable among countries that served as haven for Liberation refugees was
Significantly, in this refugee crisis, the United Nations High
Commission for Refugees UNHCR played a significant role in a number of
ways. It not also facilitated reintegration and resettlement of the refugees but
was also actively involved in providing welfare for the refugees. Going by
the Herculean task of managing and coordinating refugees which only the
UNHCR presently carry out, it was suggested in this study that more
international and non international organizations be involved in refugee
For over two decades, the West African sub-region has not known
peace. The sub-region has witnessed the worst form of political crisis,
resulting into civil wars, guerrilla wars, rebellious wars, insurrections,
This regrettable incidence has turned the west-African sub-region into a
hotbed of crises and has resulted to deaths, displacement of
populations and political instability.
Of all the countries, Liberia stands out with the worst record of notoriety.
The crisis in Liberia contributed greatly to other upheavals in the sub-
Historically, the political crisis in Liberia can be traced to the coming into
power of Samuel Doe on April 12, 1980. A development which did not
go down well with the ‘Americo-Liberians’ who had been ruling the
country since independence.
The succeeding events after Doe’s coming to power, which included the
coup attempt by Thomas Quiwonkpa and his later execution, sparked
off anger among the Americo-Liberians who considered no other option
but a rebellion against the government.
They therefore formed the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) as
a rebel force in December 1989, under the leadership of Charles Taylor,
and invaded the country with the primary aim of toppling the
government of Samuel Doe and installing Charles Taylor as President.
What followed was a civil war, with enormous effects on Liberians and
the entire West African sub-region.
But for efforts aimed at ending the war, by sub regional, continental and
global organizations, the conflict in Liberia would still be raging on with
no prospect of peace.
One area where the effect of the war has been felt the most, is in the
displacement of the Liberian population. They are now scattered in most
West African countries. A development that has resulted in serious
refugee crisis in the West-African sub-region. One organization that has
however been in the forefront of catering for the refugees and
championing their reintegration and resettlement is the United Nations
High Commission for Refugees (UNCHR)
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
Most of the crisis in the West African sub region can be traced back to
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