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Buduburam Camp demolition put on hold – Refugee Board

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• Government had planned to demolish the Buduburam Camp on September 30

• Residents made a lot of appeals for it to rescind that decision

• The Refugee Board has heard their appeal and given them an extension

Residents of the Buduburam Camp can now heave a sigh of relief, albeit momentarily, as the Ghana Refugee Board has decided to move forward its date to have the camp demolished to make way for redevelopment.

This is coming on the back of several appeals made by the residents, most of whom were refugees from Liberia and have been living there for more than 30 years.

Tetteh Padi is the Executive Secretary of the Board and he explains why this new decision has been taken, reports citinewsroom.com.

“Government is sensitive to the plight of refugees so the actual demolition has been put on hold while we give them time to make alternate arrangements for shelter”, he said.

On the last day of September, residents of the camp, also known as the Liberian Camp, moved onto the streets in protest as that was the deadline given them by the Gomoa East District Security Council to move out of the place.

A number of them, speaking with GhanaWeb, expressed mixed reactions to the planned demolition exercise, with some stating that they had become fed up with the way they are treated.

They said that if only the land borders in the country would be open for them, they would gladly return to Liberia, even though it still remains that many of them have little to no relatives still alive in that country.

Tetteh Padi also explained that there are some 400 persons classified as refugees in the camp, and for them “the Ghana Refugee Board has found alternative shelter for them and they will be moved away from the place.”

“For the rest of the population, they still have a little bit of time to make alternative arrangements,” he added.

Meanwhile, Denis Graham, the Chairman of the Liberian Community has disputed this figure.

According to him, there were actually 11,000 plus Liberians in the camp and only 4,600 of that number opted to be integrated into the Ghanaian society, the report added.

Although the Buduburam Camp has become home to many foreign nationals from Nigeria, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, and some other Ghanaian nationals since the UNHCR opened the place for them in 1990, the chiefs and resident of Gomoa Fetteh have asked for the land that belongs to them to be returned.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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