Ivorian refugees at Egyeikrom Camp won't be repatriated- Ambrose Dery
The government has no plans to repatriate Ivorian refugees at the Egyeikrom Refugee Camp in the Central Region, the Interior Minister, Mr Ambrose Dery, has stated.
He said measures were rather being put in place to ensure that the rights of the refugees were respected as they went about their legitimate duties.
Mr Dery was interacting with the camp leaders and community members of the Egyeikrom Camp as part of his two-day familiarisation tour of the region yesterday.
His declaration was in response to a question asked him to confirm or deny a rumour that the government was to close down the camp and repatriate the refugees.
The Egyeikrom Camp was opened on July 20, 2011, as one of the camps hosting Ivorian refugees in Ghana.
Egyeikrom is a rural community in the Central Region with a population of about 1,400 people and situated in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) municipality.
Cote d’Ivoire peace deal
Mr Dery said Ghana was involved in the peace deal in Cote d’Ivoire, stressing: “We are rather concerned that Cote d’Ivoire should be peaceful at all times.”
He made reference to a communique signed recently between Presidents Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire that talked about a plan to open the borders of the two countries for 24 hours, among other measures, and said that was an indication of the strong bond of friendship between the two countries.
The minister urged inmates of the camp to obey the laws of Ghana and not participate in party politics.
He promised them that adequate security would be provided at the camp to enable them to work in peace.
Mr Dery said the government, in collaboration with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), was working to provide their health and educational needs.
He expressed delight at the educational development at the camp, saying: “We have been to your school; the practice is the same as ours. I have been told some of your children have advanced to benefit from the government’s free senior high school (SHS) programme.”
The UNHCR Representative in Ghana, Ms Ioli Kimyaci, said the commission had set aside funds to build a library for the school.
“What is missing now is a livelihood activity to enable the refugees to earn a living,” she added.