Ghana's topmost official in the country’s refugee programme, Dr. Kofi Anane, has warned against admitting numerous and unverified people believed to be refugees, saying there are concerns for Ghana’s security too.
Anane, the head of the Ghana Refugee Board, has asked the government and public to be circumspect in dealing with the number and nature of people who are making recent cross-border movements into Ghana as refugees.
He warned that admitting people who are seeking asylum has major security implications, according to a report by 3news.com.
The refugee board head noted that his office was dealing with over 300 Burkinabes who fled terrorist attacks in their home country to Ghana’s Upper West region to seek refuge.
However, Anane warned the board had identified a trend with asylum seekers.
“Ghana must be wary of these cross-border movements from Burkina Faso and Mali, as this is the second batch of persons seeking asylum here. In view of the terrorist dimensions, we must be wary as we may not be prepared in the case of any eventuality,” the report quoted him as saying.
He said the continued influx of refugees threatened to overstretch Ghana's humanitarian capacity.
Anane explained that while Ghana was still harbouring refugees who had been in the country for more than 20 years, more were still coming in.
He said a number of Burkinabes were displaced due to a chieftaincy dispute, and headed for Ghana.
Anane's call for increased scrutiny of refugees follows a series of devastating terrorist attacks in neighbouring countries like Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire and Mali.
He believes increased scrutiny will help ensure that terrorists from these hot spots do not slip into the country.
He added that although the refugee board, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other stakeholders will be prepared to let them continue farming, the security agencies must first verify they are actually farmers.
Meanwhile YEN.com.gh reported earlier that two Ghanaian drivers have lost their lives at the border of Burkina Faso-Mali following a terrorist attack.
The two truck driver have been identified as Mouhamed Moumen and Suleiman Gariba.
The drivers were killed by the terrorist when they stopped at a security barrier, near the Burkina Faso to Mali Border, in a town called Koury, to settle their usual travel arrangement fee of CFA 1,000.
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