Opinions Wed, 7 May 2008

The Case of Refugees

Ghana should not be dictated to concerning the rufugees from Liberia. Refugees are not taken in permanently. Ghana took them in when their country was at war with herself. Now reasoning has prevailed and the country is virtually at peace, it is therefore imperative for them to be repatriated to their home country to help in the reconstruction.

It would not be in the interest of the country to integrate them into the Ghanaian soceity as some advocate groups suggest. There is much evidence to suggest that the presence of refugees and nationals of questionable character from countries far and near have brought about escalation of vices in the Ghanaian soceity to an almost unbearable proportion. The refugees in question have, in the past, carried out some serious infractions and altercations with the police and the general population. Even as refugees they are able to sell parcels of land. How they came by those parcels of land is incredible. Only in Ghana, the ugly effect of corruption and uncontrollable greed. As refugees they are able to sell parcels of land. What will happen when they become fully integrated into the soceity? The country as a whole will go on the auction block. To integrate so many refugees into the Ghanaian soceity will be detrimental to the state. The country is bursting at the seams with the current rate of population growth.

It would be unfair and discriminatory for UNHRC to insist that Ghana continues to accommodate the refugees. Countries who take in refugees send them back once there is peace in their respective countries, and no danger to them. Ghana has given refuge to these refugees for so many years. The country should not be compelled to continue to do so. Ghana has played her part in an immense humanitarian way. Ghana did not turn her back when a sister Afrcan country was in trouble and in dire need.

The leaders of the country do not seem to take the future of posterity into perspective. Mind you, among the refugees are former combatants who have committed atrocities against their own people. However, Ghana overlooked the danger and took them in, and now it is time to let them go in an atmosphere of friendship. Even the leaders of Liberia want their citizens back to integrate them in the new soceity and let them live together as one people. No matter what, they understand each other better. Some 'holier than thou' Ghanaians are making it seems as as if it is the most cruel thing to do to send the people back to help build their own country. Why voluntary repatriation? There should be repatriation.

The UNHRC should take the burden off Ghana so that in the future (may it not come to pass) when the need arises, the country will be able and willing to take up the challenge again.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Afrani, Kwabena