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Editorial: Buduburam: The Need For Proper Investigation

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Another incident has again occurred at the Budumburam Refugee camp in Ghana where thousands of Liberians are still living. Though there is an uncertainty hanging over the exact casualty, what matters here is that Liberians have been either killed or brutalized, again, by security forces in Ghana.  For The New Dawn, this matter needs not only a serious and undivided attention of the Government of Liberia, but also a thorough, meticulous and professional investigation that will divulge circumstances surrounding this regrettable incident.

This is not the first time Liberians are being mal-handled by security forces in Ghana. This is not the first time the Liberian government is promising to investigate to get the clear understanding of the matter. Our anxiety here is that the Liberian authorities promised, during the past incidents, to give a report on the findings of investigations carried on, but such promise was unfulfilled, even though the government had earlier condemned its own citizens without initially launching the probe.

If this incident will be a repetition of what occurred in the past; if this is another attempt to announce an investigation only to calm the population down, we say no. In as much as we recognize and are grateful to the Ghanaian authorities for hosting our brothers and sisters for so many years, we demand a light on what occurred at Budumburam on Sunday, February 13, 2011. We call on the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to face up to its responsibility by making sure that Liberian refugees in Ghana are protected in line with all international laws on the protection of refugees. Concerning the intervention of the Liberian Ambassador in Accra, we are a bit disappointed.

It is true that one of his responsibilities is to make sure that peace prevails between the two countries; we believe that the protection of his compatriots should be his primary responsibility. Unfortunately, instead of seeking the interest of the Liberian refugees who were brutalized by Ghanaian security, he decided to call on the Liberian refugees to come back home, what a public relations for the Ghanaians. We at The New Dawn do believe that asking Liberian refugees to leave the camp and return home in the wake of such an unfavorable situation is not the solution to this problem.

There are so many Ghanaians living in Liberia peacefully, even participating in the reconstruction process of our beloved country without any harassments. Nevertheless, one day, they could be faced with similar situation in Liberia for one reason or the other. Will the Ghanaian Ambassador ask them to go back home? Will that be the solution? No.

We say to the Liberian Ambassador in Accra that sometime you have to display your patriotism and how much you love Mama Liberia, and through that love you have to show how much you care and love your compatriots. This is what makes the greatness of a nation. This is neither racism, nor discrimination. If every one recognizes the greatness of the United States of America today, it is because the Americans have shown to the whole world how united they are.

During the heat of the civil crisis in Liberia, while bullets were flying everywhere in Monrovia, with the support of the Marines, the American Embassy in Monrovia braved the heat of the war to go for an American citizen in Belemah on Jamaica Road on Bushrod Island. That makes you feel proud to be citizen of a country.

We appeal to the Government of Liberia and its Ambassador to Ghana, to put the interest of our citizens first. Coming back to Liberia will not put stop to the violence perpetrated against your citizens. Digging into the matter, finding out what went wrong and making sure things are put in the proper perspective to avoid a repeat is the solution to the problem.

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