– Liberians in Ghana cry
Women Voices has reliably gathered that some residents, mostly Liberians, onTuesday besieged the Gomoa Buduburum Police Station in the Awutu Senya West District of the Central Region of Ghana demanding a stop to the demolition of the Buduburam Refugee camp scheduled to have taken place yesterday, September 30, 2021.
The the Gomoa East District Chief Executive, Mr. Solomon Darko-Quarm stated that the eviction of people from the defunct Liberia Camp at Buduburam would have gone ahead as planned.
Women Voice is yet to confirm whether or not Buduburam did go down yesterday, as was planned by Ghanaian authorities, but residents of the area said thousands of people will be displaced if the demolition had gone on, adding that they have nowhere to go and will become homeless.
The Leader of the Refugee Camp residents, Dennis Graham said, they have written several letters to all the appropriate offices in a bid to stop the demolition but all proved futile.
Earlier, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Gomoa East, Solomon Darko-Quarm, revealed that the Buduburam Refugee Camp would have been demolished.
The demolition of the refugee camp, he said will pave the way for the development of a senior high school, a residential community, and a modern market.
The camp, which was decommissioned as a refugee base by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in June 2010, has become a settlement and now bears the infamous credential as a hideout for social deviants, including alleged robbery gangs.
Solomon Darko-Quarm said the demolition of the camp was in response to a request by the Gomoa Fetteh chiefs over the increasing criminal acts in the Gomoa area, with the camp being turned into an abode for suspected criminals.
He said: “The Buduburam Camp has become an albatross around the neck of the nation as it has become a den for many suspected criminals engaged in many criminal activities across the country.”
According to him, the demolition would also pave the way to redevelop the area to befit the district’s status as the gateway to the Central Region.
“It has become a fast-growing community which needs social and economic amenities to befit its status.
“Among the amenities to be put up in the area will be the construction of a public SHS which will complement the St Gregory SHS which was recently adopted by the government but lacks the capacity to accommodate junior high school graduates in the area,” the DCE said.
How Buduburam camp emerged
Buduburam was established in 1990 to accommodate the influx of Liberian refugees who fled to Ghana when Charles Taylor came to power.
Initially, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provided the settlement’s residents with individual aid and relief to the poor Refugees.
In 1997, however, Liberia held elections that the UN Judged to be fair enough to allow for safe repatriation conditions and as a result, the UNHCR discontinued refugee assistance to Liberians in Ghana, and the settlement lost most of this funding. During this time, an estimated 3,000 refugees returned to Liberia.
Most of them chose to remain in Ghana, however, and the Buduburam settlement served as the center of their community.
Soon after the 1997 elections, the political situation in Liberia worsened, and fresh arrivals of Liberian refugees to Ghana led the UNHCR to return to Buduburam.