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14.04.2005 General News

Hundreds of Asylum Seekers Arrive in Ghana

By Graphic
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Hundreds of asylum seekers fleeing the war in the Dafur region of Sudan have begun arriving in Ghana, creating a humanitarian problem for refugees agencies in the country.
The police last Tuesday dumped the first batch of 180 arrivals on the premises of the Bureau of Ghana Languages (BGL) in Accra, but the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) have both declined responsibility for their welfare “until their status has been determined.”
The refugees, who include two women, looked tired worn-out and unkempt and their fate continues to hang in the balance as the recognized organizations which deal with issues regarding refugee in the country are denying responsibility for their welfare. The UNHCR, (NADMO) and the Ghana Refugees Board seem to disagree on who is responsible.
Officials of the Ghana Refugee Board have not even been to the premises to see them. The associate field officer of the UNHCR, Mr Karim Amer, told Graphic that it was the responsibility of the refugee board to take care of them. He said the commission had given the refugees dates to appear for the determination of their status, but added that the determination process would end in June.
He, however, affirmed that the Sudanese were asylum seekers and not refugees and that the UNHCR did not have the resources to take care of asylum seekers. That responsibility, he said, lay at the doorstep of the refugee board.

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