INTRO: Some Liberian refugees leaving in Buduburam refugee camp in Ghana refusing to return home for fear for their life.
However, according the Ghana Refugee Board, Liberian refugees in Ghana who refuse to subject themselves to a voluntary repatriation or be re-integrated in the local community will lose their status as refugees.
Out of the 11, 000 Liberians refugees at the beginning of this year , 3800 of them opted for voluntary repatriation, and 4,000 them indicated their willingness to be re-integrated to the Ghanaian community. According to officials of the Ghana Refugee Board, others have applied for exemption from the cessation clause and they will have to justified why they still want to remain refugees .
An ultimatum was given to the refugees by the UNHCR and the Ghana Refugee Board in February this year, to decide whether or not to voluntarily return to their country of origin or legalise their stay in Ghana before March 30, 2012.
The action was informed by the decision of the international community to invoke the cessation clauses built into the 1951 UN Refugee Convention for Liberian, Angolan, Rwandan, and Burundian refugees in Africa.
The cessation clauses allow refugee status to end once fundamental and durable changes have taken place in the country of origin and the circumstances that led to refugee flight no longer exist.
The international community deems it fit for the refugees to return to their countries, since the conditions that pertained in those countries at the time they left had changed.
Buduburam camp, Gomoa located in the Central Region of Ghana, was established in 1990 to accommodate the influx of Liberian refugees who fled to Ghana when Charles Taylor came to power after a civil war. Initially, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provided the settlement’s residents with individual aid and relief.
In 1997, however, Liberia held elections that the UN judged to be fair enough to allow for safe repatriation conditions. As a result, the UNHCR discontinued refugee assistance to Liberians in Ghana, and the settlement lost much of its funding.
The Buduburam settlement served as the center of most of the Liberians community.
Ghana is currently host to about 14 000 refugees from the sub-region, namely from Ivory Coast, Togo, Central Africa Republic, Mali, Ethiopia, Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi, majority of them being Ivorians.
1.WIDE VIEW OF BUDUBURAM (LIBERIA REFUGEES) CAMP, GOMOA , CENTRAL REGION OF GHANA.
2.POSTER READING, “After 30 June,2012, you will no longer be a refugee!Choose to return home or stay. The choice is yours”.
3.VARIOUS OF PEOPLE LOADING VEHICLES WITH HOUSEHOLDS GADGETS.
4.SOUNDBITE, ELDER JOSEPH TORH(UNEMPLOYED) SAYING,
There is problem in Liberia, that’s why some of us are waiting to see what is happening, yes others don’t know, successful elections, go home!, go home! go home!, go home!, go home!, Why?
4.PEOPLE WALKING IN THE STREET.
5.LIBERIAN REFUGEE BEING INTERVIEWED.
6.VARIOUS OF REFUGEES SEATED WAITING TO BE INTERVIEWED.
7.GAVIVINNA TAMAKLOE(CAMP MANAGER, BUDUBURAM CAMP, CENTRAL REGION OF GHANA) CONVERSING WITH A REFUGEE.
8. BUILDING READING, “Settlement manager’s office, Buduburam refugee settlement, Gomoa”.
9.SOUNDBITE, GAVIVINNA TAMAKLOE SAYING,
“Currently there are a group of about 500 households who has requested from the UNHCR to continue being refugees, they want an exempted to the cessation as far as their status is concern. So since the UNHCR cannot handle that by itself, it had refer the matter to the Ghana Government through the Ghana refugee Board, so what we are doing right now on the camp is interview each of these households”. 10.HANNAH MAMIE KOLEWOE(LIBERIAN REFUGEE) BEING INTERVIEWED BY AN OFFICIAL. 10.HANNAH MAMIE KOLEWOE IN TEARS AND TALKING.
11. HANNAH MAMIE KOLEWOE BEING INTERVIEWED BY AN OFFICIAL.
12.SOUNDBITE, HANNAH MAMIE KOLEWOE SAYING,
“Moving to Liberia is not safe for me, it is not safe for me and neither my children and neither the brothers that were helping me, its not safe, Liberia is not safe for me, it may be safe for others but its not safe for me, because as we are sitting here today talking, secret killing is still going on”. 13. CLOTHING ON DISPLAY FOR SALE. 14. HANNAH MAMIE KOLEWOE WALKING WITH HIS CHILDREN.
15.VARIOUS OF PEOPLE IN THE STREET.
16.VARIOUS OF YEINYEA ZANGA(LIBERIAN REFUGEE) DRYING CLOTHING.
17. YEINYEA ZANGA SAYING,
“Now they say I’m a new person in the database, I’m not active, because I’m not active UNHCR doesn’t care for me, so I’m here on my own until God will find ways for them to help those of us who don’t have ID cards, we are still here because going back to Liberia is not easy”. 18.REFUGEE CHILDREN INFRONT OF THEIR HOUSE. 19. VARIOUS SHARON COOPER, (UNHCR COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE) LOOKING THROUGH A PAPER WITH A STAFF.
20.SOUNDBITE, SHARON COOPER SAYING,
Generally speaking, people may have been absent, some may have been returned to Liberia and not been around but have subsequently come back , now if we don’t see you for three, four years, what’s the logical thing to do(pause), to inactivate your name if you cannot explain your absence
21.VARIOUS OF PEOPLE IN THE STREET.