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Editorial: We must bring our people from Ghana

The plight of Liberians being driven from the Budumburam refugee camp in Ghana with their homes demolished, leaving them with nowhere to stay, should claim the immediate attention of the Government of Liberia. Regardless of whether they are no longer refugees or the other way around, no responsible government should sit and watch its citizens endure such humiliation in another country.

 Since Tuesday, February 28, 2024, demolition of the Budumbura camp by people believed to be ordinary Ghanaians, the affected Liberians have been without food, water, or shelter, according to the report. This is an act of cruelty against humanity!

Officially, the Government of Ghana has not filed any complaints about the Liberians violating the laws of that country or engaging in acts that could undermine the peace and security of Ghana.

Whatever might have necessitated this action, we are even disappointed more that Ghanaian authorities appear to be silent on the matter that has left more than 11,000 Liberians stranded in that country, including women and children, crying of starvation, more than 20 days after unexpected demolition of their homes.

We have gathered that in 2022, the Government of Liberia, through the Liberia Refugees, Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC), held a multi-stakeholders meeting in Monrovia and subsequently dispatched a team to Ghana at the time to profile Liberians in the camp when it was established that there was one thousand, five hundred and thirty-nine (1,539) former Liberian refugees in Ghana, and of that number, at least 500 accepted to be repatriated. They were brought home with an initial amount of US$240,000 provided out of a total of US$1.5 million budgeted to bring back Liberians.

We call on the Boakai administration to identify resources to address this matter urgently and save fellow Liberians’ dignity in Ghana. We think the most expedient option is repatriating them to Liberia, where they can regain their dignity and respect as citizens.

This is the time to demonstrate leadership in such matters, and President Joseph Nyuma Boakai should rise to the occasion not only to redeem the country’s image but also to restore the pride of fellow Liberians.

It is quite unfortunate that since the February incident, the Boakai administration has not publicly spoken to restore confidence and hope in our brothers and sisters in Ghana who have been affected.

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Even if they no longer enjoy refugee status, where does the ECOWAS treaty speak of the free movement of people and goods among borderless member states? 

The Liberian government should work with its counterpart in Ghana to resolve this matter amicably to maintain regional solidarity and brotherhood among member countries.

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