Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Liberian Refugees are national security threat, says Interior minister Bartels.....

Ghana's Interior Minister Kwamena Bartels, told the Ghanaian press today that the seemingly innocent demonstration by Liberian refugees in the country was part of a wider plot by a number of persons to cause mayhem at the Gomoa Buduburam settlement and threaten the security of Ghana.
According to him, Government is aware of the presence of a number of ex-combatants at the settlement and will, therefore, not sit down unconcerned for the country’s security to be jeopardized. Bertels also told the press the Ghanaian Government is considering closing down the Buduburam refugee camp in the Central Region after it has repatriated the last batch of the Liberian refugees this year.
This is due to the closeness of the resettlement site to the country's capital, Accra, which officials fear could pose a threat to the nation's security.

Ghana continue to maintained its hard line in the standoff with Liberian refugees which culminated in the deportation of 16 of them and removal of more than 600 others from their camp just west of the capital, Accra, and said a "firm decision" had been taken that all of them must return home.

Ghanaians love to think of themselves as the most hospitable people in all Africa, but by treating helpless women and refugees like they were the scum of the earth, they have dug a hole they can never get out of, is this their idea of hospitality? Our late president Samuel Doe once said the town trap is not for rat alone, today Ghana may be stable but who knows what will happen in the future, we will forever remember what they did to our people, in our time of need you give us a place to lay our head but at the same time insulted and abuse us, what could we have done? after all a beggar has no choice, he must accept what is given him.
The xenophobia cause by the Ghanaian interior minister's hatred and his disgust of Liberian refugees in his country is shameful but it’s yet another reason why our government must do all it can to bring our people home, they are not stray dogs for Ghanaians to do or say what ever they feel like to them, enough is enough, after all no man is an island, thank you for your hospitality, but our people will take their chances at home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Michael - Congratulations on your blog. Its great. Keep up the good work. As for Liberian refugees in Ghana, I can see both sides of the story. On the Ghanian side, its been more than 15 years that they have hosted the refugees. I have been the camp last year myself as a visitor. I personally don't understand why people would choose to continue to live there when their home country (Liberia) is a much better and safer place for themselves and more importantly their children. So, it is definately time for the Liberians to come home. I also went to Liberia in January 2008 and understand how difficult life is there as well. However, comparing the two locations, I would pick life in Liberia any day. Although I think its time to close the camp, it needs to be done in a fair and humane manner. Outrageous statements by Ghanian government officials are wrong and only make the situation worse. The Ghanian government and Liberian camp representatives should sit down and work out a time table to the gradual closing of the camp. This schedule should be released to all camp residents so people can slowly start thinking through their options....if they want to stay in Ghana or if they want to move back to Liberia. Those are my thoughts. Thanks for the opportunity to express them.