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Neo
5th March 2011, 01:23 PM
Liberian Government’s facts finding delegation that recently traveled to the West African State of Ghana for probe of recent violence that left at least one Liberian woman dead and many others arrested blamed Liberian refugees in that country for the melee.

The head of the government delegation, former Foreign Minister George Wallace, told a news conference yesterday in Monrovia that the Liberian refugees acted unruly while Ghanaian state security forces overreacted.

According to Ambassador Wallace, the refugees refused to honor the halt-order for installation of their new leadership which was issued by the Government of Ghana, through a letter which was written to the Liberian refugees on February 11, 2011.

Ambassador Wallace who is now Foreign Affairs Advisor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told the news conference that in spite of the halt-order, the Liberian refugees were determined to install their new leadership on Sunday, February 13, 2011.

The intransigence of the refugees, he added, led to the arrest of one Marshall by six Ghanaian Police officers.

Ambassador Wallace further narrated that the refugees stiffly resisted the arrest of Marshall by taking strategic positions in front of the police vehicle, preventing it from leaving the area.

After the arrival of police reinforcement, the ex-foreign minister indicated that the refugees began to throw stones and other missiles at the Ghanaian police officers.

When the police fired warning shots in the air, the Liberian refugees still threw stones at the police officers, a situation which later became devastated, he added.

Amb. Wallace further explained that during the meeting with the refugees, his delegation was unable to establish the death of any Liberian during the incident as explained by the refugees.

He categorically dismissed reports that the Liberian Ambassador to Ghana, Rudulf Von Ballmoos did not show any concern for Liberians.

Another member of the government delegation, Cllr. Wheatonia Dixon-Barnes, Executive Director for the Liberia Refugees Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) told journalists, that under the refugees’ law, the Liberian Ambassador to Ghana, Ambassador Rudolf Von Ballmoos, acted as a professional diplomat, by not regularly visiting the camp, or else, the Liberian refugees could have lost their status as “refugees.”

Cllr. Barnes stated that the Government of Liberia will endorse the reactivation of the Tripartite Commission comprising Ghana and Liberia and that the first meeting is expected to be convened in Accra, Ghana, during the fourth week in March, 2011.

She said the meeting would urgently discuss among others, repatriation of Liberian refugees from Ghana.

The President of the University of Liberia Students Union (ULSU), Joash T. Hodges, who was also a member of the government delegation, stated that it was established that Ghanaian Police shot live bullets which resulted to the death of a lady.

Hodges further disclosed that it was established that the police used excessive force to an extent that scores of refugees were brutalized and their houses broken into by Ghanaian state security forces. He added that many of the refugees were arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned on various charges.

According to the reports, the 47 persons who were arrested, were freed on bail on Tuesday, March 1 and are expected to report to court on March 28, 2011.

Twenty nine of the 47 detainees are registered refugees as reflected in the UNHCR data base; three are Sierra Leoneans, while 14 persons were said to be non- refugees.

The reports also states that the UNHCR will provide legal defense for the 29 registered Liberian refugees, while the Government of Liberia should ensure legal representation for the 14 Liberians, who are not refugees.

Members of the government’s six-man delegation also comprised Atty. Freddie R. Taylor, Jr., Deputy Minister of Justice for Administration; Elizabeth Hoff, Deputy Minister of Information for Technical Services and former president of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL); Cllr. Wheatonia Dixon-Barnes, Executive Director for LRRRC; Philip Wesseh, Managing Editor, Inquirer Newspaper and Joash T. Hodges, President, University of Liberia Students Union (ULSU).
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Source: Liberianobserver

BBoy T
5th March 2011, 03:05 PM
Why is there still a Liberian Refugee camp in Ghana anyway, isn't their country at peace now ? I say process them for repatriation and shut down operation of the camp.