Repatriation Of Refugees To Start In June
Repatriation Of Refugees To Start In June Website
The Liberian delegation and the government of Ghana have reached an agreement to start repatriating the Liberian refugees by June this year. The agreement was reached at a meeting between the two sides in Accra on Thursday, March 27, 2008. The Liberian delegation, led by the country’s Foreign Minister, Olubanke King-Akirele has been in the country to try and resolve the refugee crisis. He met with President Kufuor yesterday who urged members of the delegation to work closely with the UNHCR to agree on a timetable to repatriate the refugees. He said the situation that warranted their stay in the country was gone, adding there was therefore no justification for them to claim refugee status. The Deputy Information and National Orientation Minister, Mr. Frank Agyekum who sat in Thursday’s meeting confirmed the agreement to Joy News. He said the government of Ghana wanted the repatriation exercise to begin by April this year but the delegation sought to consult with authorities back home. He said a response was expected from them by next week. According to Mr. Agyekum the two countries agreed to set up a tripartite committee comprising the two governments and the UNHCR to oversee the repatriation exercise. He said the refugees currently at Kordeabe would be sent back to the Buduburam camp after they have pledged to be of good behaviour. The refugees have been protesting for the past five weeks against the UNHCR. They are against reintegration into the Ghanaian society, something the government said amounted to an insult to the country. The ignored appeals to call of the protest but they remained intransigent compelling the government to threaten to repatriate them back to Liberia. Some of the protesting refugees who are demanding a $1,000 reparation fee from the UNHCR were taken to Kordeabe for screening and repatriation. But the Liberian government sent a delegation to apologise to the government for the conduct of the refugees and appeal for a reconsideration of the repatriation decision.