Leaders Of Refugees Run Into Hiding
Leaders Of Refugees Run Into Hiding Website
The Gomoa Buduburam refugee camp is said to be deserted as elders and opinion leaders have ran into hiding. This follows yet another swoop by the police on Saturday morning, March 22, 2008 at the camp. Men were reportedly being picked for their roles in instigating the women to embark on what the government calls illegal protests. Women in the camp have been protesting against the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) for some weeks now. They are demanding a $1,000 reparation fee from the UNHCR saying the $100 given them was woefully inadequate. The refugees also demanded resettlement in a Western country. Despite warnings by the Interior Minister to the women to call off the protest, the women insisted it was their right to protest. The police in a swoop picked close to six hundred of the women and detained them at a leadership training centre at Kordeabe in the Eastern Region. They were to be screened and repatriated to Liberia for violating the country’s laws. The training Centre at Kordeabe where the women are being held has now been designated a refugee centre. These were contained in a statement signed by the Interior Minister, Mr. Kwamena Bartels. The release was date March 14, 2008, five days before the refugees were surrounded up and taken to the centre by the police. The move has been described as an attempt to avert prosecution of the government by some NGOs. The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) in collaboration with other human rights groups threatened to sue the government over its handling of the crisis. The group said the government had violated the rights of the refugees by keeping them beyond the 48 hours stipulated by the Constitution. Mr. Edward Amuzu of the LRC told Joy News that the designation of Kordeabe as refugee centre could not absolve the government from violating the rights of the people. He said it was possible for a people to be detained in their home. Mr. Amuzu stressed the need for the broad principles of respect for the fundamental human rights of every individual.