Around 7,000 Ivorian refugees in the country are expected to benefit from another legal status by 2022.
This follows the start of the process of invoking the cessation clause to Ivorian refugees who fled the country, due to violence between 2010 and 2011 by countries hosting Ivorian refugees, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (UNHCR).
At an inauguration ceremony of the Ghana Refugee Board (GRB) Board of Trustees in Accra yesterday, Home Secretary Ambrose Dery urged members to ensure Ghana follows the roadmap adopted for the year in order to meet all deadlines. put in place for an effective transition process.
He asked the Council to ensure that the GRB applies the lessons learned from the implementation of the cessation for the Liberians, in order to avoid a situation like the one happening at GomoaBuduburam refugee camp.
“It is essential that the transition takes place fully. We must not end up with a situation similar to that of refugees where people who have, for example, been integrated locally, continue to benefit from free accommodation and other services inaccessible to Ghanaian nationals living in the surrounding communities ” added Mr. Dery.
The Council has Professor Kenneth Attafuah as Chairman with TettehPadi, GRB; Pat Danso-Abeam, representative of the Attorney General’s office and the Ministry of Justice, Senalor K. Yawlui, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Divine Ayidzoe of the Ministry of Education as other members.
The others are Deputy Commissioner of Immigration (ACI) Samuel BasintaleAmadu, Ghana Immigration Service; Anthony Ayensu-Asare, National Intelligence Bureau and Georgina Mensah, Department of Social Welfare.
Others include Deputy Commissioner of Police (ACP) Phyllis AmaTebuahOsei, Ghana Police Service; Doreen P. Annan, Ministry of the Interior and Kofi Osei, representative of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO).
The Minister instructed the Council to find a solution for around 3,500 Togolese refugees in protracted situations residing in the country.
The main challenges facing these refugees, he said, were their inability to access the Togolese nationality documents required for their transition from refugee status to another legal status.
“I expect that a tripartite meeting with the Togolese authorities and the UNHCR will be convened as soon as possible, to address this persistent issue,” said Mr. Dery.
He called on the Council to ensure that the bill for a revised Ghanaian refugee law goes through the various stages and is adopted as soon as possible.
The Council, the minister said, would do well to rise to the local challenge facing GRB and reiterated the government’s commitment to re-equipping the Council to live up to its mandate.
On behalf of the Council, Professor Attafuah expressed his gratitude to the government for this opportunity and pledged to work for a better refugee management exercise.
He said the Council will work diligently to complete the pending refugee status which has stopped due to the absence of a Council.
He called on the ministry to offer its support to pass the Refugee Commission bill, saying “lives depend on us and we will not disappoint.”