Refugees: Abuja Peace Agreement

CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT IN BISSAU

Article 1

(f) Creation of conditions which may facilitate the return of refugees and resettlement of displaced.

Implementation History

1998

No Implementation

The July 1998 ceasefire agreement was reaffirmed in the final accord—the Abuja Peace Agreement—in November of the same year. The accord required that each party work to facilitate the resettlement of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), but did not provide any steps that should be taken to achieve that goal. The signing of the ceasefire in July did not hold, which created further security concerns for refugees. As a matter of fact, more and more people fled the country after heavy fighting broke out in the country in October.1

  • 1. “Heavy Fighting Breaks out in Guinea-Bissau,” Xinhua News Agency, October 19, 1998.
1999

Intermediate Implementation

Progress was made in terms of the return of refugees. Voluntary repatriation started in July.2 By December 1999, 232 refugees from Gambia, 855 from Senegal, and 456 from Cape Verde returned home.3 The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that 5,276 refugees returned home in 1999.4

  • 2. “Guinea-Bissau: voluntary repatriation starts,” United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), accessed July 13, 1999, http://www.unhcr.org/3ae6b820b0.html.
  • 3. “Report of the Secretary-General on Developments in Guinea-Bissau and on the Activities of the United Nations Peace-Building Support Office in that Country,” U.N. Security Council (S/1999/1276), December 23, 1999.
  • 4. “2003 UNHCR Statistical Yearbook - Guinea-Bissau,” UNHCR, accessed 2005, http://www.unhcr.org/41d2c172c.html.
2000

Full Implementation

The return of refugees continued in 2000. It was reported that an improved relationship between Guinea-Bissau and its neighboring countries facilitated in the return of refugees.5 As a sign of further improvement in the repatriation of refugees from neighboring countries, starting 15 June the government of Guinea-Bissau, after consultation with the UNHCR, started the repatriation of another 900 refugees.6 According to an UNHCR report, 890 refugees returned home in 2000.7

  • 5. “Report of the Secretary General on developments in Guinea-Bissau,” U.N. Security Council  (S/2000/250) March 24, 2000.
  • 6. “Report of the Secretary General on developments in Guinea-Bissau and on the activities of the United Nations Peace-building Support Office in that country.”
  • 7. “2003 UNHCR Statistical Yearbook - Guinea-Bissau."
2001

Full Implementation

Most of the refugees who fled Guinea-Bissau during the conflict were resettled back to their home country in 2000. The UNHCR and the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau did not report further issues relating to the repatriation of refugees to Guinea-Bissau.

2002

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2003

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2004

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2005

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2006

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2007

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2008

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.