By: Jerromie S. Walters
Liberia-WTVNEWS: A conglomeration of students, religious groupings, entertainers, and members of several civil society organizations under the stewardship of the Liberia Returnee Network (LRN) has officially launched the “Home back home” refugees repatriation campaign.
The”Home back home” campaign endeavors to ensure a dignified and kind return of Liberian refugees residing in Ghana, Guinea and other parts of the world back home.
Addressing cross section of Liberians at the campaign’s grand launch on Thursday, February 24, 2022, in Monrovia, LRN Executive Director Emmanuel Marshall said the network has secured five acres of Land in order to erect structures for shelters for those refugees repatriating to Liberia.
He said he has had several fruitful conversations with the Ghanaian and Guinean Ambassador accredited to Liberia, which they have all assured their commitment in working with the Liberia Returnee Network, in ensuring the safe repatriation of Liberian refugees in their respective countries.
The LRN Boss also maintained that the campaign started in 2019, upon a visit to Buduburam camp where many Liberians narrated the deplorable state of their livelihood, ranging from countless challenges they were confronted with.
Mr Emmanuel Marshall further added that it’s contradicting to have Liberia being a host of refugees (From Ivory Coast in Nimba and Grand Gedeh) who are currently enjoying liberty and not being maltreated, while Liberian refugees are not being treated well.
The Liberia Refugees Network anticipates the support of all Liberians with a contribution of at least $500 five hundred Liberian Dollars per individual.
While performing the official launching, former Nimba County Superintendent Christiana Dagadu stressed the need for Liberians in other parts of the world who fled the country following the civil war to return, adding that Liberia Is now stable and peaceful.
“These people have talent, they can come back home and built Liberia, we are not going to wait for the government to do everything, we gonna help government and then government is going to come back and help us too, so we have to take the initiative”. She added
The former Superintendent lauded the Liberia Returnee Network and its supporting partners for the initiative, explaining that it’s crucial especially in such a time when they are being maltreated by the people of those various counties
At the same time, the President Press Union of Liberia, Charles Coffey has called for the swift and immediate intervention of human rights groups and national government, in facilitating and buttressing the LRN’s efforts in ensuring the return of Liberian refugees.
Mr Coffey called on government through the legislature to allocate adequate funds to accommodate the LRRRC, in order to have Liberian refugees in Ghana and other parts of the world, return and become empowered.
He spoke at the PUL Headquarters mid Thursday February 24. 2022, following a brief stop by the campaigners while on a major parade in central Monrovia.
In August of 2021, the GOMOA East District Security Council (DISEC) in Ghana issued an eviction order for residents of the erstwhile Liberian Refugee Camp to vacate the area without delay.
Buduburam formerly served as a refugee camp in the Gomoa East District located along the Accra-Cape Coast Highway. It was established in 1990 to accommodate the influx of Liberian refugees who fled the country’s internecine war in the 90s.
The Buduburam Camp in the Awutu Senya constituency in the Central Region of Ghana, which has for over 20 years been a place of abode for refugees, mostly Liberians would soon be demolished, according to Ghanaian authorities, who say the area which has for over two decades served as a home for refugees will be razed down to make way for development purpose.
The GOMOA East District Security Council, in its eviction order, also indicated that the planned eviction was intended to make way for a demolition exercise at the area aimed at addressing the rising security challenges emanating from there.
The eviction notice, which was signed by the District Chief Executive, stated that the GOMOA District Council has resolved and further directed that all individuals and groups residing within the former Liberian camp for refugees should vacate the area by Thursday, 30 September 2021, to make way for the demolition of the place.
“By this communiqué, all persons living within the affected area should leave and evacuate whatever belongings they may have in the area, before 30th September, 2021,” the eviction notice noted, while emphasizing that said date would not be extended.
This followed a call from from the Executive Director of the Liberia Refugee Repatriation Resettlement Commission (LRRRC), Rev. Festus R.B. Logan, encouraging Liberians still in the former refugee camp to return to Liberia.
Till date, there have not been a specific figure of the number of Liberians who are still on the
Buduburam Camp, but unofficial report shows that they are approximately in their thousands,.
He said the LRRRC is seeking to know from the Ghana Refugee Board, of the total of Liberians still in Ghana, how many, under the three types of Durable Solutions, opted for local integration, exemption, and refugee status, stating that the Commission is aware that following the declaration of cessation in Liberia by the international Community, some 350 Liberians were granted refugee status – “so we are asking the Ghanaian authority, we want to know,” he added.
The LRRRC boss stressed that Liberians still residing in the erstwhile refugee camp, who may have the means to come back home, should do so, noting that many of them are skilled individuals, some of whom he said are professors, entrepreneurs, stating that others are educated, and have other professions.