Residents given deadline to vacate Buduburam camp

BY: Emmanuel Bonney
A settlement at the Buduburam Camp
A settlement at the Buduburam Camp

The Gomoa East District Assembly in the Central Region has given residents of the Buduburam Refugees Camp up to September 30, 2021, to vacate the place as it gives full effect to its resolve to demolish the structures in the area.

That, it said, is to pave the way for the redevelopment of the area.

“The Gomoa East District Security Council (DISEC), at its second meeting on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, at Gomoa Potsin, has resolved and further directs that individuals and groups living in the defunct Liberia Camp at Buduburam should vacate the area latest Thursday, September 30, 2021, to pave way for the demolition of the area,” an eviction notice dated August 3, 2021, issued by the assembly, said.

The notice, signed by the Chief Executive of the Gomoa East District, Mr. Solomon Darko-Quarm, said the demolition of structures in the area was in furtherance of the government’s approval of a request by chiefs, opinion leaders and the general public for it in view of the “rising security challenges emanating from the area”.

The notice said beginning yesterday, “officers of the assembly and security personnel would be deployed to clearly mark the boundaries of the 141-acre land, including Zone 12.

“All are entreated to treat this notice with all seriousness to avoid any complications. The Gomoa East DISEC apologises for any inconvenience this may cause to the affected persons,” it added.

Decommissioning

The camp, which was decommissioned as a refugee base by the Untied Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in June 2010, has become a settlement and now bears the infamous credential as a hideout for social deviants, including alleged robbery gangs.

Mr. Darko-Quarm had told the Daily Graphic that the demolition of the camp was in response to a request by the Gomoa Fetteh chiefs over the increasing criminal acts in the Gomoa area, with the camp being turned into an abode for suspected criminals.

“The Buduburam Camp has become an albatross around the neck of the nation as it has become a den for many suspected criminals engaged in many criminal activities across the country,” he had earlier noted.

Camp profile

The camp is sited in the Gomoa East District and shares a boundary with Kasoa.

It was set up by the UNHCR in 1990 to serve as a safe abode for more than 12,000 refugees from Liberia who fled the country during the two Liberian civil wars (1989–1996 and 1999–2003).

It also housed refugees from Sierra Leone who escaped from their country’s civil war between 1991 and 2002.

Although the camp was decommissioned following the return of peace to the two countries, most of the refugees resettled in the neighbourhood.

On May 18, 2021, the chiefs of Gomoa Fetteh, at a news conference, expressed concern about the increasing crime rate at the Buduburam Camp and issued a three-month ultimatum to the government to pull down all makeshift structures — said to be the abode of suspected criminals — in the area.