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Ghana Refugee Board encourages more Liberian refugees to repatriate

 

Accra, March 8, GNA - Mr Padi Tetteh, Programme Coordinator, Ghana Refugee Board on Thursday said out of the 11,000 Liberian refugees living in Ghana, only 450 had expressed interest in voluntary repatriation.

     He has therefore, encouraged more Liberian refugees living in Ghana "to take advantage of the voluntary repatriation."

     "It is important that these refugees take decisions and opt for voluntary repatriation, before June 30 when the cessation clause would come into effect. If they have not registered their status as refugees, it would cease."

    In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Mr Tetteh appealed to Liberian refugees to take advantage of the opportunity to register their status for local reintegration or repatriation.

      He explained that a grace period of three months would be given after the cessation period of June 30 this year, after which the Ghana Immigration Authority would handle them as illegal immigrants, and the Buduburam camp would be closed down.

    Mr Tetteh emphasized that it was not everyone that would voluntarily be repatriated and indicated that those who would opt for local integration would be screened and selected to have their track record.

     “We are still working on local integration as a delegation mission from Liberia is in the country to encourage many refugees to return home.”

     The delegation is made up of officials from the Sports and Education Ministries to brief the refugees on the situation at home.

      Mr Tetteh said the Liberian Government had introduced a grant of US$300 for adults and US$200 for children as a resettlement package to encourage them to return home.

     Mr Nicholas Alex Perkins, Senior Protection Officer, Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission, explained that the repatriation was good even though some of the refuges thought the time was too early while others were happy about the exercise.

      He said the repatriation package had been arranged at home and the Government had the absorption capacity and that "the atmosphere is conductive".

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