Jeddi Armah, Liberia’s Deputy Minister of Legal Affairs (3rd from right), addressing the refugees at Buduburam, during his visit
Jeddi Armah, Liberia’s Deputy Minister of Legal Affairs (3rd from right), addressing the refugees at Buduburam, during his visit
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4,300 Liberians at Buduburam Camp to return home

Four thousand three hundred Liberians based at the Buduburam Refugee Camp in the Gomoa East District of the Central Region are expected to return to Liberia between May and June 2024.

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This forms part of the Liberian Government's plan, through the Liberia Refugee Repatriation Resettlement Commission, to repatriate its citizens from the camp. The first cohort of the repatriation activity will take place tomorrow, when 770 of them will be bussed from Ghana to Liberia.

This was disclosed at a pre-departure engagement between representatives of the Liberian Government and the Liberian community at Buduburam.

Buduburam Camp

The Liberia Camp, also known as Buduburam Camp, is a refugee camp established by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1990. The 144-acre camp housed more than 12,000 Liberian refugees who fled their country during the first Liberian civil war between 1989 and 1996 and the second Liberian civil war from 1999 to 2003 as well as Sierra Leone refugees who fled their civil war between 1991 and 2002.

Return hom

The Deputy Minister of Legal Affairs of Liberia, Jeddi Armah, who led the Government delegation, said this was to bring to closure Liberian refugees living in Ghana. He said the conversations around the repatriation process had been held and agreed on between the two countries, Ghana and Liberia, since 2021.

"We have had fruitful engagements and discussions with the Ghanaian government throughout this period and they have been giving us the necessary and needed support to undertake this exercise," he added.

Mr Armah urged them to seize the opportunity and return to Liberia, saying the Government had made provisions for their smooth repatriation and stay in their home country. He said the camp was established as a safe haven for them during the war, thus, it could no longer be a choice to stay in a place that was only meant to provide them a temporary sanctuary.

He advised them to see the repatriation as a renewal process with a lot of opportunities for them to join in the rebuilding of the Liberia they all envisioned and wanted. Mr Armah expressed his appreciation to the Government of Ghana and the citizenry for opening their arms and welcoming them in their time of dire need and distress.

Ready to return

The President of Liberians in Ghana, Dennis Gwion, said majority of them were prepared and ready to leave the camp, adding that the few who would stay were those who had stable employment and place of abode outside the camp.

He said it was a voluntary process, where the people had chosen to go back to their home country. He added that there were more than 6,000 of them living at the camp.

Meanwhile, some of the residents who spoke to the Ghana News Agency expressed their eagerness to return to their home country, whereas a few of them also said they could not return now due to their education and work.

Wilmot Dweh, a resident at the camp, said he could not return now due to his tertiary education and his project he was undertaking at the camp. He, however, expressed his willingness to return when he had completed his university education.

Madam Oretha Baba Russell, a resident, a hair dresser who works at Tema, said she had informed her employer about her departure. She said she was hoping to return to Liberia with her children and start her own hairdressing business.

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