15.04.2005 General News

Government in control over refugee situation

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Accra, April 15, GNA - Government on Thursday gave the assurance that the requisite state agencies were in full control of the presence of asylum seekers from the Darfur Region in Sudan in Accra and that there was no cause for alarm.

A Statement Papa Owusu Ankomah, Minister of the Interior signed said the government was aware of the presence of persons described as asylum seekers from the Darfur Region of the Sudan in Accra and were currently located at an open space near the premises of the Bureau of Ghana Languages.

It said the Ministry has directed that the strangers were to be transferred immediately to a more secured location and that with effect from tomorrow, the Ghana Refugee Board, with the support of the Ghana Immigration Service would start interviewing them to determine how they entered the country and about their general status.

Those identified as genuine asylum seekers would be accorded all the rights due them in accordance with the laws of Ghana and Ghana's international humanitarian obligations and those found not to be genuine would be repatriated to their countries of origin forthwith. The statement said in the meantime, the Police have been directed to provide maximum security to them to ensure that they stayed within the confines of the area, where they were presently located so that the security of citizens was in no way compromised.

It said, "While Government will continue to honour its international obligations with regard to refugees, it will also ensure that only persons who have followed the right procedures according to the laws of Ghana and international conventions will be accorded refugee status in the country." 14 April 05

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