The Ministry of National Security in Ghana has refuted media reports suggesting a deliberate and targeted operation by the Ghana Armed Forces to forcibly repatriate Burkinabe refugees. In a statement released Friday, 13th July 2023, the Ministry emphasized Ghana’s commitment to accommodating displaced Burkinabe nationals who have sought refuge in the Upper East and Upper West regions of the country due to the ongoing security crisis in southern Burkina Faso.
Collaborating with the Ghana Refugee Board and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Ministry has established a temporary reception center in the Upper East Region, capable of housing an estimated Two thousand, one hundred (2,100) displaced individuals from Burkina Faso. Currently, five hundred and thirty (530) displaced Burkinabes are being accommodated at the reception center, where they receive free food and medical care provided by Ghanaian authorities.
To further enhance containment efforts, the Ghanaian government has acquired a 30-acre plot of land for the construction of housing facilities to host displaced persons. These measures aim to ensure the safety and well-being of those seeking refuge in Ghana.
Contrary to claims of forced repatriation, the Ministry clarified that a voluntary repatriation process has been instituted at the reception center for Burkinabes who wish to return to their home country. This repatriation process adheres to international protocols on refugee management and has been implemented in collaboration with the Burkinabe Immigration Authorities along the Ghana-Burkina Faso border.
The Government of Ghana reaffirmed its commitment to safeguarding peace, stability, and territorial integrity while promoting the welfare of both Ghanaian citizens and displaced individuals from neighbouring countries. The government emphasized that necessary operations would continue without compromising on values such as respect for human rights, including the rights of refugees and displaced persons.
As tensions in southern Burkina Faso persist, Ghana remains steadfast in its efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need, upholding its commitment to international standards and collaboration with relevant organizations. The Ministry urged the media and the public to rely on accurate information and refrain from spreading false claims that could undermine the ongoing efforts to assist and protect displaced Burkinabes in Ghana.