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28.03.2008 Editorial

Time-Table For Refugees

By Daily Guide
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We endorse the decision of the tripartite committee on Liberian refugees in Ghana, to draw up a time-table for the repatriation of the refugees.

The committee is made up of a high-powered Ghana Government delegation, a Liberian Government delegation and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

It is expected that when the time-table is drawn, an elaborate programme would be made for the repatriation of the refugees.

This programme should be convenient to them and at the same time, maintain the cordial relations between Ghana and Liberia.

Indeed, the behaviour of the refugees during the past one month had been very offensive. The demands they were making on the UNHCR and the subsequent embarrassment they were causing to the Ghana Government, were not expected of refugees of any kind.

It is no wonder that a few of the refugees were deported last week because of their uncouth behaviour towards the government.

Ghana and Liberia should not allow a few miscreants to get in the way of the cordial relations between them.

We cannot agree more with President Kufuor when he warned the refugees saying “anybody who might come on the radar of the security agencies would be arrested” and treated as a criminal.

This year, being an election year, is crucial for Ghana. There could be some individuals and groups who might choose to foment trouble in the country to disrupt its smooth running. Such people must be taken care of, before they cause any havoc in the country.

It is unfortunate that Ghana which played a very important role in ending the war in Liberia and also hosted the majority of refugees from that country for almost 20 years, is being paid back this way and portrayed to the international community as being hostile to the refugees.

What is more painful is that some selfish Ghanaians who have some hidden agenda are squatting under the canopy of some international organizations and by their utterances and deeds, supporting the refugees instead of making it plain to them that their actions were wrong.

The Liberians must know that since the war has ended in their country and democracy has taken deep roots, they are no more refugees wherever they might be. They must not therefore be expected to be treated as such.

Ghana must however take consolation from the fact that the Liberian Foreign Minister, who led her country's delegation to Ghana rendered an unqualified apology to the President and people of Ghana for the insulting behaviour of the refugees.

Whatever the Liberian refugees might be today, they must be reminded of the first day they set foot on Ghanaian soil before they made those utopian demands on the UNHCR and the Ghana Government.

DAILY GUIDE reminds the Liberians that the semi-forest that provided shelter to the monkey when it was being chased by the hunter, is actually a thick forest.

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