The Ghana Refugees Board says adequate provisions were made for the well-being of some 400 registered Liberian refugees of the Buduburam Camp before government’s move to evacuate them.
The government recently gave the green light for portions of the camp to be demolished.
Residents have thus been asked to vacate the area immediately.
A resident who spoke to Citi News said they felt betrayed because they had been given the option of integrating into the Ghanaian society.
He said they expected certain incentives because of the integration, instead of the “total embarrassment they are giving to us.”
In an interview on Citi Eyewitness News, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Refugees Board, Tetteh Padi, said, “We have only a little over 400 recognised refugees who are Liberians in the Budumburum camp. We are responsible for these ones, and so we are making arrangements to relocate them to some of our refugee camps. We will assist them as long as they opt to be relocated.”
“For the rest of them, at the end of 2012, the secession clause was invoked which meant that the Liberians cceasd to be refugees. Some of them opted to voluntarily go back, others decided to stay, which meant that they were well and able to cater for themselves.”
“They were also given work permits, and some cash grants, $400 per adult, and Liberian passports for free. The resident permit of 50% each was paid by Ghana government and the UNHCR. It is renewed for them for free. They were also given a year subscription of the National Health Insurance.”
“They were asked to go and rent decent accommodation with the $400 that was given to them as the owners of the land will come for them. They however remained there because no one drove them out all this while.”
Liberian refugees and other residents at the camp say they have no money to find new homes.
The Buduburam Camp became the home of Liberian refugees after it was opened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1990.
It was initially home to some 12,000 refugees.
It also houses refugees from Sierra Leone who fled their country’s civil war between 1991 and 2002.