Windhoek- Namibia (PANA) -- The UN refugee agency in Namibia has shut its doors against Sierra Leonean asylum seekers, saying it will, in collaboration with Namibia's home affairs ministry, repatriate 22 Sierra Leonean refugees currently in the country.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Namibia's ministry of home affairs and immigration said Wednesday that Sierra Leoneans would no longer be considered for refugee status in the country.
The UNHCR said that Sierra Leoneans' refugee status ceased on 31 December, 2008, adding that refugees from the West African country 'are no longer entitled to claim international protection as refugees or the mandated functions of the UNHCR.
' "UNHCR will still assist any Sierra Leonean refugees wishing to repatriate voluntarily - with the provision of transportation and a small cash grant," the UN body said.
Namibia's ministry of home affairs and immigration said that it had 22 registered refugees from Sierra Leone, adding that they should present themselves to the ministry for repatriation to their home country.