refugees Nouakchott- Mauritania (PANA) -- The governments of Mauritania and Senegal on the one hand and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (HCR) on the other, will sign on 12 November a tripartite agreement expected to serve as a framework for the repatriation of Mauritanian refugees who have been living in Senegal for the past 18 years.
Sources close to the UN Agency told PANA on Friday that some 24,000 refugees would be covered under the agreement.
In a document issued on Friday in Nouakchott, HCR reaffirmed the "voluntary" character of the repatriation and defined the responsibility of the different actors.
The signing of the tripartite agreement will take place two days before Mauritania on 15 November organizes national dialogue days on the return of refugees.
The first contingent of Mauritanians returning from Senegal is expected by mid-December Tens of thousands of Mauritanian citizens were expelled from their country to Senegal and Mali from late April 1989.
Inter-ethnic clashes in Mauritania from late April 1989 saw tens of thousands of Mauritanians fleeing to Senegal and Mali.
Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, who was elected president of Mauritania on 27 March, has recognised the right of these refugees to return home.