General News of Thursday, 12 December 2013
Deputy Minister of Interior, James Agalga, has allayed fears expressed by sections of the public that integrating Liberian refugees into the Ghanaian society will pose a threat to national security.
The assurance comes in the wake of a release by the UNHCR explaining how cash benefits to persons reintegrated will be disbursed.
After repatriating 4,710 refugees in 2012, there are over 3,500 refugees who are being integrated and about 1,500 who are being exempted.
According to Mr Agalga, this should not raise any concerns since it has been done systematically.
“We have always hosted Liberian refugees in this country ever since the conflict broke out. Were they a threat to us? Why will the integration of a few Liberian suddenly become a threat to us after we have hosted them all these years as refugees?”
He further revealed plans that are underway by the Liberian government to issue Liberian passports to the nationals who have been integrated.
“They are not going to become Ghanaians, they are only going to be granted a resident and work permit to enable them integrate. Of course at some point if they meet the requirement for naturalization, it’s up to them to apply and we will consider their application,” Mr. Agalga explained.