Buduburam camp in Ghana is facing demolition following some incessant crime cases in the area. This refugee camp is located along the Accra-Cape Coast Highway. It was opened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1990. The camp houses over 12,000 refugees from Liberia first and second wars. Additionally, there are refugees from Sierra Leone’s civil war in 1991-2002.
Since the government declared that they want to tear down their homes, all the refugees have come out hard to register their displeasure. They have refused to go. Some too have proposed some conditions under which they will leave that stretch of land. Indeed, there is no way one can blame them. They have been here for over a decade and they only seek to be respected and treated right as human beings.
If the government wants to demolish the place because there are too many crimes there, then the government should find them new homes. This place- Buduburam was acquired under the auspices of the United Nation. Ghana accepted to house refugees here and that was why they were sent here during the wars in their countries. This is not the first time Ghana has agreed to accept refugees or foreigners here. Back in the days of former President John Mahama, he accepted some 3 foreigners who were wrongly accused by the USA to be terrorists. They came to Ghana to spend some time reviving their psychological state. This is not new.
However, if a crime is on a surge at Buduburam, as the government claims, then the best move is not demolition. Besides, destroying the place wouldn’t take the crime away- are the plot of land and their buildings committing the crimes? –No, human beings are committing the crimes. Therefore, the government should make moves to enrich the lives of people there. Sacking them won’t solve the issue. They will move to another place to commit the crime.
Clearly, overpopulation breeds crime. So, the government should develop ways to spread their homes. Again, there should be massive security in the area. Nothing beats the presence of a security officer in an area. The government could also engage the UN in getting scholarships for these refugees. There could be a genius in the camp, some doctors, architects, scholars, etc. Ghanaian refugees in other countries are enjoying the fruit of the country’s toils. Why are we depriving these ones of having the same? The adage says: do to others what you want others to do to you.
What if Ghanaians in Liberia get attacked because their fellow country people are getting attacked in Ghana? There should be a holistic plan to augment the good name and reputation of Ghana. We come this far not to lose our peace because of reckless demolition which could have been done properly.
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