Monrovia – As the deadline for the demolition of the famous Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana nears, the Liberia Returnee Network, a group advocating for Liberian refugees to have a smooth return to their motherland, is calling on the Liberian Government to dispatch a delegation to Ghana and prevail on their counterpart to ensure or secure the extension for the demolition exercise.
“We ask that the buying of time in preparing for a dignified and safe return of our brothers and sisters concerns the Liberian Government,” Mr. Emmanuel Marshall, Executive Director of the Liberia Returnee Network said.
In May, the Traditional Chiefs of Gomoa District in Ghana gave the Ghanaian government a three-month ultimatum to demolish the Buduburan Refugee Camp on the ground that the camp is being used as a hideout for prostitution and other crimes.
In a video posted to social media by CitiTube, a local television station in Ghana on May 19, 2021, the Gomoa Fetteh Traditional Council said many of the crimes committed in nearby cities are linked to persons inside the Buduburam Camp.
“The Government should get rid of those buildings over there. I think the place is a hiding place where people do a lot of things that do not speak good well of Buduburam,” the Chief of Gomoa District Nana Abor Attah stressed.
After the calls from the Gomoa Fetteh Traditional Council, Solomon Darko Quarm, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Gomoa East in the Central Region in Ghana revealed that they have given instruction by President Nana Akufo Ado to demolish the Buduburam Refugee Camp and settlements around the camp.
“President Akufo Addo has given us the go ahead to demolish the place,” Mr Quarm told Adom News.
The deadline for the demolition exercise is set for September 30, 2021, the District Chief Executive said.
Speaking to journalists in a joint-press conference by the Buduburam Veterans Association and the Ministerial Council of Churches on Buduburam Refugee Camp, the Executive Director of the Liberia Returnee Network says despite the news emanating from Ghana, the Liberian Government is yet to release a statement regarding the demolition of the camp.
“We the concern organizations want to point out to the UNHCR today that there were and has been lots of miss-steps within the provision of the duration solutions regarding Liberian refugees in Ghana and the entire Sub-Regime in line with the 1951 Geneva Convention, ranging from voluntary repatriation, local integration and even the resettlement,” Mr. Marshall said.
He added: “We the former resident of the Buduburam Refugee Camp want to categorically state to the Liberian Government that should there be any delay in response to life treating situation of our citizens are faced in Ghana; if they are thrown in the streets, we will equally be in the streets of Monrovia in front of the LRRRC Office and the Ghana Embassy Until some Positive actions are taken.”
The group also called on the United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR) and all other United Nations sisterly bodies to quickly intervene for the over five thousand Liberians –mostly children and single mothers that are living in fear and anarchy because of the plan demolition exercise.
“We are appealing to all United Nations bodies concerned to act swiftly or risk our people’s lives in a blood bath because we have experienced it, not once or twice in Ghana,” Mr. Marshall said.