The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Govt. Delegation Holds Talks In
Ghana Again On Refugees’ Status

A Liberia governmental delegation is holding talks with their Ghanaian counterpart again in Accra on the fate of Liberian refugees who are refusing to either “integrate or return home” at Buduburam Refugees Camp in Gomoa District.
The team officials are from Justice and Internal Affairs Ministries as well as the Liberian Refugees, Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) among others who left late last week for Ghana.
Report says the delegation and Ghanaian authorities have deepen talks on “repatriation or integration,” and not for the refugees to remain on the 141 acres of land belonging to the traditional leaders of Gomoa District where the camp is situated in the central region of Ghana.
According to the report, some of those refugees have expressed the desire of returning to Liberia before the Friday, 31 December, 2021, deadline as was reached between the two sides.
It will have to be arranged ahead of time while those not wanting to return home will have to be integrated into the Ghanaian society by taking citizenship but their paper work will have to be processed through the Ghanaian Refugees Board.
But the sticky issue now is who bears the cost of transport for those opting to come home. Will it be the Ghanaian or Liberian government?, if not, which of the international agencies are now prepared; or it is left at the description of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) or the International Organization for Migration(IOM)?.
Early this month (October), Liberia which has sizeable number of its citizens in Ghana as refugees sent similar delegation there to ease tension when confusion broke out between the host nation, and the refugees who now consider the camp as home.
The intervention was a result of the expiration of the 60 days ultimatum given the refugees from Tuesday, 3 August to Thursday, 30 September, 2021, by the traditional leaders care of their central government for the strangers to vacate the land but latter remained defiant in spite of bulldozers demolishing their structures.
Because of the gravity of the situation at the time Ghana and Liberia governments reached an understanding thereby giving the refugees additional two months (60) days from Friday, 01 October to Friday, 31 December, 2021, to leave.
Before then, the traditional owner of the land in Gomoa District said the camp is potential hideouts of suspected criminals, and a center point for prostitution among refugees’ activities.
At the moment, there are report of over 3,000 Liberians, and other nationals still residing at Buduburam Camp despite the official closure by the Ghanaian Government, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and other agencies in 2012.
Instead of the refugees considered, either offer from the Ghanaian authorities “repatriation or integration” they are demanding resettlement to third country (ies) something which could be difficult, if not impossible, but costly as well.
Ghana believes the political conflict (civil war) that made many Liberians to becoming refugees both internal and external has ended officially years now since 18 August, 2003, thus making peace and stability to return to Liberia therefore those refugees must return home.
The civil war started here on 24 December, 1989, when the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) led by former President, Charles Taylor, launched it rebellion against the regime of the late President, Samuel Doe, resulting in the death of over 250, 000 people and the destruction properties.
But following years of peace talks stability has returned once again and that has cumulated in the conduct of 3 successful national elections at which time the world witnessed the formal transferred of power from one regime to another one for the first time in Liberia.
With that, many Liberians who fled and spread in the diaspora are returning home contributing to the ongoing reconstruction effort of their country. Therefore, the need for compatriots in Ghana to return cannot be overemphasized as nowhere is better than home.

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