Ivorian Refugees In Ghana Cautioned Against Violence

Mr. Tetteh Addy, Programme Coordinator of the Ghana Refugee Board (GRB), has cautioned Ivorian refugees at the Ampain Camp, in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region, to be law abiding and promote peace, to avoid repatriation from the country.

He said: “We have received reports that some people in this camp are planning to cause confusion. We have the intelligence reports and we are watching closely what is happening.”

Mr Addy issued the warning at the inauguration of projects costing $1,600,000, being sponsored by the Japanese government, to assist the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), to improve the lives of   the refugees, at the camp.

He reminded them that their activities or conduct was being regulated by rules and regulations of the GRB and the UN convention on refugees.

“The law prescribes that those who are a threat to the camp and the nation can be sent back to their country of origin. We will deal with those who cause confusion in the camp. Perhaps, the camp manager has been lenient with some people,” Mr. Addy said.

Ms. Chansa Kapaya, the Country Representative of the UNHCR in Ghana, expressed worry that some refugees at the camp engaged in violence over the distribution of food items.

She noted that the UNHCR was facing challenges in catering for the growing number of refugees worldwide, saying disturbances or war in Syria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan for instance had placed a huge burden on the UNHCR.

Ms Kapaya said refugees scattered all over Africa – Kenya, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Chad, Senegal, Mauritania, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Central Africa Republic, needed attention and care.

She said the global economic situation had resulted in a reduction of the budget for UNHCR operations in Ghana, and called for a political solution to the problem facing the refugees at the camp, to avoid violence.

On March 12, 2011, the UNHCR activated the Eagle Star reception centre at Elubo, to receive thousands of Ivorian refugees fleeing a  political stand-off, at the Elubo border post in the Jomoro District of the Western Region.

The refugees were registered for further hosting at the Ampain camp and the number there, according to the UNHCR, in  March 2011, was 200, and the number rose to 2,800 in five days, and currently checks at the camp by The Ghanaian Times indicate that  the number has increased  to 4,800.

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