UN REFUGEE AGENCY CONCERNED OVER MISSING AID WORKERS IN LIBERIA

From: UN New York, Mar 6 2003 1:00PM
© UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

The United Nations refugee agency has expressed grave concern over the fate of three humanitarian workers who went missing in the highly volatile border region between Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire.

"Once again, we are painfully reminded of the dangers aid workers face daily in their efforts to help uprooted people in West Africa," the Deputy UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Mary Ann Wyrsch, said in a statement issued yesterday.

The three aid workers were reported missing while on their way to visit a Norwegian-funded project by one of UNHCR's partner agencies in the region, the Adventist Relief and Development Agency (ADRA). ADRA said its director for Liberia, Emmanuel Sharpolu, Kaare Lund of ADRA Norway and driver Musa Kita were caught in the fighting in Toes Town, close to the Liberia-Côte d'Ivoire border.

UNHCR said it is doing all it can to help locate the three men and remained extremely concerned about the general situation in Liberia's volatile border region, where aid workers are struggling to help tens of thousands of people who have fled fighting in neighbouring Côte d'Ivoire.


added by: Robert W. Kranz  March-2003