Refugees

Mr George Gerard Naluri, the Lambussie District Chief Executive (DCE), at the weekend presented food items, including some bags of rice, to some Burkinabes seeking asylum in some communities in the Lambussie district of the Upper West Region.

Mr Naluri presented the food items during a visit with security agencies, including Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Immigration Service, to about 500 Burkinabes, who fled into communities in the district to seek refuge after some unknown gunmen evaded them in their homes in Burkina Faso.

These Burkinabes, largely women and children, are currently seeking refuge in Banwon, Hamile, Chetu, Chebogo, Happa and Tapumu communities in the Lambussie district.

Mr Naluri, speaking in an interview with GNA after the visit, described the attack as unfortunate, adding that the District Assembly, in collaboration with the security services, was adopting measures to ensure the security and safety of both the refugees and the community members.

He said the government was also making efforts to provide some support items for the refugees and  called on donor agencies to assist them.

“These Burkinabes are easily accepted and given places to stay by some chiefs and the community members in the district because some of them were living within border communities closer to and have relatives in the district and intermarried with citizens in Burkina Faso and living there until the crisis occurred,” he added.

Mr  Naluri said interaction with the refugees showed that some of them, especially the men, had gone back, adding that, “reports from those who went back also indicate that calm was gradually restoring in the affected communities in Burkina Faso.”

He, therefore, assured residents of Lambussie not to panic with regard to security but to be vigilant and report any act or action they suspect might wreak havoc in the district.

He called for effective cooperation from the refugees with the security personnel to help secure their safety as they stay in the communities.

Chief Superintendent Edward Owusu-Ansah, the Hamile Sector Commander of the Ghana Immigation Service, said the service, in collaboration with other security agencies, had stationed more security personnel at the various immigration check points and routes as part of measures to ensure security in the district.

He said the service had established contacts with heads of the communities where these Burkinabes settled to update the service on new development and report any suspicious behaviours to the authorities.

“Interaction and response from some of the Burkinabe refugees revealed that the unknown gun men suspected to be Bokom Haram during the attack gave them some conditions including denouncing their religion and converting to Islam,”he said.

This, therefore, created fear and panic in them leading to their flee into not only the Lambussie district but the Sissala West District and the other Sissala areas in the Upper West Region, the DCE said.

Source: Rashid Mbugri

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