Ghana lcriticised for expelling Burkina Faso refugees


Burkinabe children, out of school, are again in dire situation as they get expelled from schools in Ghana, something which is a serious cause for concern as Burkina Faso asylum seekers and refugees are being expelled from Ghana

from RUSSELL ADADEVOH in Accra, Ghana
Ghana Bureau
ACCRA, (CAJ News) – THE reported deportation of hundreds of citizens from northern neighbour, Burkina Faso, is a dent in Ghana’s history of solidarity with refugees.

Women and children are a majority of those who sought safety and protection in Ghana and have reportedly been sent back to their conflict-ridden country.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) is concerned at the expulsion of the Burkinabe citizens from the fellow West African country.

“Ghana has a longstanding history of upholding its international obligations towards refugees,” a spokesperson of the agency stated.

UNHCR has thus called on the government of Ghana to cease these expulsions, which it said amount to a violation of the non-refoulement principle, and guarantee access to the territory and asylum to nationals of Burkina Faso seeking international protection.

The UN refugee agency explained non-refoulement is a fundamental principle enshrined in international law, which prohibits the return of an asylum seeker or a refugee to countries where their life or freedom would be threatened.

UNHCR has been collaborating with the host government of President Nana Akufo-Addo to support efforts to ensure the protection of over 8 000 Burkinabe nationals who sought protection on its territory as a result of the ongoing conflict in their country.

In the framework of this cooperation, a Reception Centre managed jointly by the Ghana Refugee Board and UNHCR with a capacity of 4 000 individuals has been inaugurated in the Upper East Region to relocate Burkinabe refugees away from the border for security reasons.

However, there is a dampener after this week, reports emerged of the military leading a crackdown in towns, markets and refugee-receiving camps to arrest the asylum seekers.

While an official comment could not be obtained from the government, officials have been quoted as saying this was part of ongoing military operations in the region, to rid it of insurgency.

The operation allegedly targets people of Fulbe origin. They are mainly Muslim.

Ghana hosts about 18 000 refugees and asylum seekers from different countries.

Burkina Faso, the landlocked country with an estimated 22 million people, is in the throes of an Islamist insurgency.

Last week, a non-state armed group raided the locality of Bogande in the east and executed at least 12 inhabitants, including women, and set some houses on fire. Upon leaving, the armed men reportedly ordered the populations of neighbouring localities to leave or face reprisals.

At the end of June, at least 31 military officers and three army civilian auxiliaries, were killed on a supply convoy escorted by military units, which was attacked in Namasigue in the Centre North region on its way back from Djibo, a city under blockade for more than a year.

It is estimated that up to 1,8 million people live in localities under blockade.

The government of interim president Ibrahim Traore, a military officer in power since the 2022 coup, has struggled to retain normalcy.

– CAJ News












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