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General News Thu, 30 Jan 2003

Ghana calls for support to manage refugees

Ghana called Thursday for support to ensure that refugees from neighbouring Ivory Coast do not settle permanently along its border towns and villages.

The Ghana News Agency quoted Vice President Aliu Mahama at the same time as assuring Carolyn McAskie, the U.N. Secretary-General's Humanitarian Envoy for the crisis, that Ghana would do its best to make life comfortable for the refugees.

McAskie is in Ghana as part of a five-nation West African tour to assess the impact of the Ivorian conflict. The other countries are Liberia, Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso.

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Ghana has been receiving Ivorian refugees and other nationals fleeing the conflict at Bole in the Northern Region and the border towns in Brong Ahafo, Western Region and Upper West. The four-month long Ivorian conflict has reportedly displaced about 600,000 people.

Mahama said Ghana had been helping to restore peace and stability to Ivory Coast, adding: "We have been involved from day one and played a key role in the process. We will not relent until it is over."

Source: GNA
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