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UNHCR Expresses Concern Over Deportations of Burkina Asylum Seekers from Ghana

Accra, July 13 – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has raised concerns over reports in Ghana suggesting that hundreds of individuals seeking refuge from the insurgency in neighboring Burkina Faso are being forcibly deported, an allegation that Ghana denies.

Burkina Faso, along with other West African countries, has been grappling with armed groups that emerged from northern Mali and have gained control over the region in the past decade. This ongoing conflict has resulted in thousands of casualties and displaced over six million people.

With over two million people internally displaced in Burkina Faso alone, many, particularly women and children, have sought sanctuary in northern Ghana, which has also been affected by the insurgency in recent years.

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On Wednesday, the UNHCR urged the Ghanaian government to ensure the Burkinabe refugees fleeing violence have access to its territory and asylum, while calling for an end to the reported deportations.

However, Ghana’s government refuted the allegations on Thursday, asserting that 530 displaced Burkinabes were being accommodated in a temporary reception center established in collaboration with the UNHCR.

“The Ghanaian authorities are providing the displaced individuals with free food and medical care,” stated the Ministry of National Security, adding that land had been acquired for housing purposes.

According to the government, only those Burkinabes who voluntarily wished to return home were being repatriated through a process aligned with international protocols.

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Local media outlets and social media platforms have reported on the alleged forced repatriations by the Ghanaian army. A Twitter user named Alhaji Gbangbanku shared a video online showing numerous women with their children sitting on the ground in a parking lot surrounded by buses.

“The repatriation of Fulbes from Burkina Faso is continuing today in several northern Ghana communities,” the user wrote, describing it as a “military-led exercise” and a “disturbing development.”

 

(Note: The revised headline and the article have been adapted for The Accra Times.)

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