Amid reports that the Buduburam Camp in the Awutu Senya constituency in the Central Region of Ghana, which has for over 20 years been a place of abode for refugees, mostly Liberians will soon be demolished, the Executive Director of the Liberia Refugee Repatriation Resettlement Commission (LRRRC), Rev. Festus Logan, has disclosed that his entity is working with international partners to prepare a humanitarian convoy, with the management of the National Transit Authority (NTA) promising to provide buses to travel to Ghana and bring back home Liberians from the Buduburam Camp.
Rev. Logan made the disclosure Thursday, when he spoke on state radio’s Super Morning Show.
The LRRRC boss said his office has not officially received any alert from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding such eviction notice by Ghanaian authorizes, stressing that obviously, as much as it is a refugee situation, the LRRRP should be informed.
According to him, the LRRRC has written the Ghanaian Refugee Board and their counterparts in Ghana for update as to what is actually obtaining in Ghana with Liberians, who are former refugee still residing in the Buduburam Camp, stating that Ghanaian authorities have assured to give update as to what is actually unfolding.
He indicated that, in spite of reports of a planned eviction of Liberians from the Buduburam Camp, his office does not want to jump to conclusions because according to him, the LRRRC to date, does not have any written communication from the Ghanaian government informing it about any planned eviction of Liberians from the Buduburam Camp.
Howbeit, the LRRRC Executive Director indicated that upon learning about reports of a planned eviction of Liberians from the Buduburam Camp in Ghana, the Commission has since begun preparing to dispatch a LRRRC team to Ghana on a verification mission of the actual number of Liberians, which he estimates as being around 3,000 former Liberian refugees still residing in the Camp.
“We don’t want to hear one soon morning that our citizens are on the streets of Ghana or some of them are walking to come to Liberia, because they have been evicted from wherever they find themselves,” Rev. Logan said.
Rev. Logan emphasized that that issues regarding the planned eviction of Liberians from the Buduburam Camp is very serious, stating that this was why his Commission was still engaging the Ghana Refugee Board for update on the matter.
He noted that the United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR) Liberia is also involved and is working closely with their counterparts in Ghana to know as to what is actually unfolding, stating that very soon the full story would be known.
He said the Commission has already informed the office of President George Weah and the Board of Directors of LRRRC about the situation, aimed at making urgent interventions, because according to him, there are reports that former Liberian refugees still in the Buduburam Camp have been given an ultimatum that lasts until September, before they are evicted, noting that therefore, all necessary mechanisms need to be worked out the soonest possible time.
“Our first plan is to dispatch protection team to be on ground, meet with the Liberian Embassy in Ghana to protect those persons of concern, meet with the Ghana Refugee Board and have some discussions with them and then meet with the affected people and tell them that they need to come back home,” he said.
The LRRRC boss made it clear that there will be no resettlement package for the affected Liberians, stating that government does not have that kind of money.
He said the process of resettlement of Liberian refugees in Ghana, happened in 2012, adding that therefore, Liberians still Ghana should have taken advantage of that process.
“This situation it is just LRRRC responsibility, this is a multi-sectional approach because when these people are coming back, you will have the health team playing their part to know the health status of these people, so after our visit to Ghana when we would have done the profiling and feasibility study, come back and we will do a full report to President Weah and we pray that everything goes well diplomatically,” Rev. Logan said.
He revealed that Liberians still residing in the Camp are no longer refugees, because according to him, the Camp was decommissioned in 2010 by the UNHCR.