Police evict ‘nuisance causing’ Sudanese refugees from UNHCR premises

Police evict ‘nuisance causing’ Sudanese refugees from UNHCR premises
Source: Ghana| Myjoyonline.com | Naa Sakwaba Akwa | E: faustine.akwa@myjoyonline.com
Date: 11-01-2019 Time: 03:01:16:pm

Police have evicted protesting Sudanese refugees from the offices United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Accra.

The refugees have for close to 40 days, been protesting the delay in the issuance of their refugee documents by the Commissioner.

They are demanding the release of documents which will serve as an identity and travel document while they are in Ghana.

One of the protesters, Hib al-Din Mohamed said 764 Sudanese refugees including women and children have arrived in Ghana six years ago, pointing out that UNHCR refused to issue them refugee identification cards.

“I arrived in Ghana in 2014 after crossing six countries. However, the UNHCR refused to issue me a refugee ID which made me suffer from housing, food and health care problems” he told Sudan Tribune.

Another refugee, Mohamed Salah, said they decided to organise a sit-in in front of the UNHCR premises and submit a memo including their demands, pointing out that they came from the war-affected areas in Darfur, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile states.

He accuses the UNHCR of discriminating against the Sudanese refugees, saying it has granted refugee status to 300 Syrians who arrived from Egypt and other refugee holding Sudanese passports.

Salah added the Syrian refugees were granted refugee status within six months and large numbers of them have been resettled in Canada, U.S. and Europe.

Joy News’ Henry Kwesi Badu who was at the premises of the UNHCR on Thursday reported that the refugees clashed with the police who wanted to forcibly remove them from the UNHCR premises.

Chanting “where is human right?” the protestors including women and children accused the police of abuse and compelling them to board a bus against their will.

Commander in charge of the National Rapid Deployment Force, Supt. Al-Meyao Kwaresey Abass explained that the Sudanese refugees were “causing a nuisance” and needed to be dispersed.

He said they had pitched camp at the premises of the UNHCR since November 26, 2018, and “posing a security threat to residents in the area.”

According to him the Ghana Refugee Board and the UNHCR petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to facilitate the process of dispersion.

Supt. Abass said some of the refugees have been sleeping on the streets and that cannot be allowed to continue.

The refugees have, however, agreed following engagements with the UNHCR to go to the Christian Camp in the Western region.