GOL to repatriate 1,539 Liberians from Ghana -Minister Nyanti, says Passport team achieves 61% result

By: H Matthew Turry 

MONROVIA: As a measure to find a workable solution to the plight of over 1,500 Liberians whose respective residents were demolished recently by the Ghanaian government, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken action to repatriate them to Liberia just as there are reports from Ghana that the number of people who have indicated interest to return home is even more than earlier expected and that the recent announcement for citizens to comply to the new passport regime has so far recorded 61% compliance thus far.

Speaking Tuesday, April 9, 2024 at the Special Press briefing of the Ministry of Information Culture Affair and Tourism(MICAT), the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dean of the Cabinet, Sara Beysolow Nyanti  said there are  1539 Liberians who are to be repatriated.

“I want to stress to them that this exercise is for those Liberians who were victims of the Buduburam Camp destruction and were seeking temporary shelter.

“Since the  destruction of the Buduburam Camp  that left Liberians homeless, the Embassy in Accra, had been engaging in constant dialogue  with the Ghana Refugee Board and other relevant authorities and to provide support to the struggling Liberians’ ‘, she said.

The Dean of the Cabinet added that the Liberian government through the LRRRC, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other stakeholders are having stakeholders meeting to look at preeminent solutions for those Liberians who are in the difficult situation.

“In the meantime, we had noticed last week that Gomoa Peace Assembly filed a lawsuit against a group of Liberians who were sheltering in one of the schools, and in response to that, the President quickly empower us to be able to send a team into Ghana, LRRRC led by Richard Howard Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led by the Deputy Minister Jeddi Armah are there now engaging with authority, and through these efforts, they were able to halt the case that they took to court until our time has come  to be able to get our citizens home”, she explained.

It can be recalled that on February 26, 2024, the Ghanaian government carried on the demolition of the Buduburam Camp leaving about 8,000 West African nationals including Liberians homeless and vulnerable.

In a related development the Foreign Minister said the passport team has achieved 61 percent result in passport handling management. She added that the team has been engaging with those who have six years diplomatic, service, and official passports, and  ensuring all those entitled to those passports have a replacement in a timely manner.

“As for April 5, 2024, last Friday, we received 115 Diplomatic, 9 Official, and 76 Service Passport and they have been able to ensure that those. This process is not a political process, it is a process that ensures that the Liberian passport can be respected. Last week, a Nigerian was arrested; he was vomiting cocaine and was carrying a Liberian passport by the name of Karr Baseman. What this is about, it is about ensuring that Liberians carry Liberian passports, it is about ensuring that the right people hold our passports”, she disclosed.

She maintained that, ‘the Foreign Ministry works with the Ministry of Health and others to strengthen the documents process, because if somebody can get a fake birth certificate that says they are Liberian, that fake birth certificate can lead them to getting an ordinary passport.

It can be recalled that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs suspended, with immediate effect, the July 2023 Revised Passport Regulations replacing it with the reinstatement of the March 2016 Passport Regulations.

The suspension exercise saw many Liberians both past and current government officials bearing diplomatic, service, and official passports with the duration of more than 2 years returning them to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and those who are entitled to receive the document were re-issued the same accordingly.

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