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Take Care of Strangers

Truthful Man
2008-03-22 07:40:36

The situation at the Liberian Refugee camp in Ghana which concerns the arrest of Liberian refugees by Ghanaian police is, in my view, inhumane. While it is true that Liberians have resided in Ghana for 18 years due to the 14 years war that they had at home, and the Ghanaian government, like many other governments have protected them, that does not means that their basic rights should be violated by the Ghanaian government. For the period of time Liberians have live in Ghana, they have not been involved in crimes that compromise the security of the state. They have resided in the refugee camps peacefully and those of them who have had financial means have live in Ghanaian towns and cities and have be robbed by Ghanaians landlords by extracting huge sum of money from them. Also, Liberians in Ghana have been a significant contributing population to the Ghanaian economics as thousands of dollars and pounds are sent to Liberians daily in Ghana by their relatives residing abroad. The development of Kasoa, and other surrounding towns to Buduburam can be largely contributed to Liberians. Ghanaians businesses and schools have seen huge development because of the the contributions of Liberians. I could go on listing the significant roles Liberians have played in the development of Ghana.

The act of arresting 600 women few days ago and most recently countless number of men on charges that the women were demonstrating naked along a major highway by the government of Ghana is unacceptable by any civilized society. It is unfortunate that the Interior Minister of Ghana could openly decide to lie to the world by such untrue news. The strike by refugee women in Buduburam began on February 19 and no news agency had reported seen any naked woman in the refugee camp. In fact as reported by international and local news, the strike by women had been only in the refugee camp and had not have anything to do with obstructing traffic. In my opinion, the Interior Minister of Ghana should be called to account for feeling the world with fallacious information. His action is dishonest, unethical, and unprofessional. If Ghana is the nation it claims to be, a nation of justice, then it should not condone such unethical behavior.

It is fair to say that the demand of the refugees is genuine. their demand for a $1000 from the UNHCR to help them smoothly repatriate should be seen as a means for them to easily settle in the fragile Liberian society. Liberia currently has 85% unemployment rate. The current residents of Liberia are suffering and renting an apartment in Liberia range anywhere between $100-$250. And most of the refugees in Ghana have no place to live when they arrive in Liberia. Their homes were burned and families were killed. Common sense will inform a wise person that such people need more assistance. Thus, forcing them to repatriate with $100.00 is inhumane.

Finally, Ghanaians should understand that despite the hardship Liberians have faced, Liberia still remained to be home to thousands of Ghanaians as it has been for many years. It is only wise that the Kofour government in its political game for winning power in the 2008 elections allow reason to tell him that he should not destroy the good relationship that exists between the citizens of Ghana and Liberia as we they next door neighbors.
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