Ghana has decided to receive some displaced Yemeni and Syrian refugees as well as some Rwandan detainees who has been acquitted on grounds of innocence or fulfilled prison terms. The decision was taken on the basis of Ghana’s humanitarian obligations to these countries who are currently under great crises and distress.
A statement signed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Hanna Tetteh said the Yemenis and the Syrians are being assisted as a result of the crisis in the Middle East.
The Rwandans on the other hand have been tried and had either been acquitted and discharged or had been sentenced and had served their time but did not find it appropriate to resettle in Rwanda.
According to the statement the Syrians who will be accepted will have relatives already in Ghana to facilitate the resettlement process.
Read the full statement sourced from citifmonline.com below:
Ghana provides humanitarian assistance and refuge to persons from Rwanda, Yemen & Syria
During the year 2015 the Government of Ghana was requested to assist in the resettlement of a number of persons from Rwanda and Yemen, and taking cognizance of the grave humanitarian crises in the Middle East has also decided to provide refuge to some displaced persons in Syria who already have relatives in Ghana.
Prior to winding up its affairs on the 31st of December 2015, the Government was approached by representatives of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to resettle some of the persons who had been tried and had either been acquitted and discharged or had been sentenced and had served their time but did not find it appropriate to resettle in Rwanda.
We have decided to respond to the request of the tribunal and have indicated our readiness to take two of such persons and give them residence in Ghana. At the request of the US Government we have also agreed to accept two detainees of Yemeni origin who were detained in Guantanamo but who have been cleared of any involvement in any terrorist activities and are being released.
They are unable to return to Yemen at the moment and we have indicated our readiness to accept them for a period of two years after which they may leave the country. Additionally, Government has decided to allow relatives of members of the Syrian community already resident in Ghana who have been displaced as a result of the conflict in their country to resettle in Ghana. In all instances the persons who are being allowed into the country are subject to security clearance and their activities will be monitored during their stay in the country.
Ghana recognizes that as a member of the International Community we have a responsibility to assist in International crises situations having regard to our own resources & capacity to assist, and it is in this regard that the Government has decided to take these actions.
We wish to assure the public that in doing so we are cognizant of the need to protect the safety and security of our own citizens and are taking all the necessary steps to ensure that is done. Hanna S. Tetteh (MP)
Minister for Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, Accra.
January 06, 2016.
Meanwhile, this decision has sparked off fears in the hearts of many Ghanaians who are of the opinion that it will pose a threat at the country’s security, as well as economic well being.
However, International Relations expert, Professor Keith Bluwey has debunked Ghanaians’ fears, saying that “there is no cause for alarm”. He made this clarification while speaking to pulse.com.gh:
We are not in danger just by playing hosts to a few refugees. I don’t think they pose any economic problems for us; security – I don’t think either. Let them come. I don’t really see any threat to Ghana arising out of it. I think we can do with a few of them around and we are offering hospitality to people in distress.”
He further explained that Ghana is not like the US who has genuine reasons for stopping the immigration of refugees across their borders for the mean time.
The US has a reason. Everybody who goes there becomes a master of his own. Very soon they get in touch with technology and become wealthy in no time and begin to interfere in their politics and they become a threat to their security. But this place [Ghana] hasn’t got those attractions. I don’t see any small group of people causing trouble for us,” he added.
Moreover, the Project Manager of the Ghana Refugee Board Tetteh-Padi stated that the Syrian community in Ghana foots the bills of the refugees.
They are being looked after by other Syrian families but they have to register when they come into the country if they want to seek asylum. I can state categorically that the Syrian refugees who have come in have not been at any cost, whatsoever to the state”, he said.