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Society for Human Rights laments plight of Liberians in Ghana

Group appeals to President Boakai to address plight of Liberians driven out of the former refugee camp.

By: Naneka A. Hoffman

Buduburam, Ghana, April 30, 2024 – The National Society for Human Rights wants the Government of Liberia to take concrete steps that will help address current situations Liberians living in the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana are going through.

Speaking in a joint press conference at the New Water in the Desert Assembly Apostolic Pentothal Church International, the group’s President, Archbishop Thomas Paul Schirmacker, described the plight of Liberians at the Buduburam Refugee Camp as terrible.

According to him, roofs of church buildings where Liberians seeking refuge after they were driven out of Buduburam are being removed by the Ghanaian government on the grounds that they will not have a sleeping place.

 “What we saw during our visit at the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana last week is very frustrating and [needs] urgent attention from the Government of Liberia,” Archbishop Schirmacker said.

Also speaking at the press conference, the Secretary General of the National Society for Human Rights, Matthias Bohning, called on Canadian International Footballer Alphonso Davis, who was born at the Buduburam Refugee Camp, to help his fellow Liberians.

Alphonso Davies, born November 2, 2000, is a professional footballer who plays left-back or winger for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the Canada national team. He is widely regarded as one of the best full-backs in the world and among the best North American players ever. His exceptional pace, dribbling ability, and creativity have earned him the nickname “The Roadrunner.”

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Born in Ghana to Liberian refugee parents, Davies and his family moved to Canada when he was five. He obtained Canadian citizenship in June 2017 and became the youngest player to appear for Canada’s national team later that month. In a 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup match against French Guiana, he scored two goals, becoming the youngest player to score for the team and the youngest to score at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. 

For his part, the Bishop of the New Water in the Desert Assembly Apostolic Pentothal Church International, Dr. Kortu Brown, is urging the Boakai administration to take immediate steps to address the plight of Liberians from the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana.

The group currently operates in about thirty-seven (37) countries worldwide. It describes as terrible, experiences of Liberians over the months since the Ghanaian government started demolition of the Buduburam Refugee Camp, situated about 40 miles away from Accra.

According to them, based on visitations, findings, and people spoken with at the Camp, yellow machines moved on the Liberians as early as 4 am while they were still asleep and demolished their structures, forcing them out of the premises.

Though the United Nations ruled in 2006 that it was safe for refugees to return home, many, traumatized and without connections, remained in the so-called Liberia Camp in Buduburam, about 45 km West of Ghana’s capital, Accra.

But last week, under the orders of traditional authorities, who own the land, demolition of the camp began. By Monday, a large part of the site where the once bustling Liberia Camp had stood for 34 years was reduced to rubble, leaning only palm trees standing.

Residents picked through the wreckage of their once brightly painted houses to salvage belongings as bulldozers plowed on around them. In nearby Point Hope Basic School, women, children, and the elderly slept on improvised beds.

Liberia Camp ceased to be classified as a refugee shelter in 2012. Since then, the landowners have made several attempts at demolition to get the Liberians out.

The Liberian government recently sent a delegation to Ghana to meet with Ghanaian authorities about the situation. Negotiations were said to be ongoing to bring the Liberians home, as they no longer bear refugee status in that country. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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One Comment

  1. People don’t learn from past experience at all…..remember the aliens compliance order of 1969 or 1970 by a government of Ghana???..very anti- African and our support for aparthied South Africa.

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