The Ghana Refugee Board has said the demolition of the Buduburam camp has been suspended amid appeals from residents of the camp.
“Government is sensitive to the plight of refugees so the actual demolition has been put on hold while we give them time to make alternate arrangements for shelter,” the board’s Executive Secretary, Tetteh Padi, said on the Point of View on Citi TV.
The demolition was set to begin on September 30 and was met with appeals from various residents of the camp mostly foreign nationals and some Ghanaians.
For the 400 persons classified as refugees in the camp, Mr. Padi said “the Ghana Refugee Board has found alternative shelter for them and they will be moved away from the place.”
“For the rest of the population, they still have a little bit of time to make alternative arrangements,” he added.
The figure of 400 has been disputed by the Chairman of the Liberian Community at the Budumburam camp, Denis Graham, who earlier said there were 11,000 Liberians in the camp in 2012, of which 4,600 opted to be integrated into the Ghanaian society.
The Buduburam Camp became the home of Liberian refugees after it was opened by the UNHCR in 1990 during the country’s civil war.
It now also hosts other foreign nationals from Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and some Ghanaians.
But the Chiefs and residents of Gomoa Fetteh in the Gomoa East District of the Central Region, who are the custodians of Gomoa Buduburam, pushed for the demolition over claims that the camp is a den of criminals.
In July 2021, the district assembly said it had been given the go-ahead to demolish parts of the camp.