Ivorian refugees who are currently in Ghana are calling on the Ivorian president, Alhassane Ouattara, to release their former president Laurent Gbagbo before they return to Cote D’voire.
This according to them would give them full assurance of their safety when they return to their country.
The refugees made the call when an Ivorian government delegation visited the Ivorian refugees at the Egyeikrom Refugee Camp (ERC) in the Central Region on Thursday.
The visitation dubbed ‘come and tell visit’, was for the delegation to have first hand information about the refugees’ living standard and also announce to them (the refugees) the Ouattara government’s willingness and readiness to accept them back to Ivory Coast.
It was made up of representatives from the the nation’s Defence Ministry, Ministry of Youth and Employment, Social Cohesion and Solidarity Ministry, Ministry of Education in charge of College Placement, and the UNHCR CDI & DAARA.
According to ghananewsonline.com.gh’s reliable source, the about 200 refugees who were present at the closed door meeting held under heavy security by the Ghana Police Service, after the job and security assurances from the delegation, all said they would agree to return to Cote d’voire on two conditions; that, they want to see their leaders (Gbagbo) and his wife, “and our other two members arrested in 2012 released”, one refugee said amidst cheers and hooting from the crowed.
“You can’t just tell us with your mouth that there’s security in Cote d’voire and for that matter our safety is assured when we go…if really there’s peace, then why are our masters [Gbagbos] still in prison? If there is indeed peace, then free them.
“Also, our two brothers who decided to go back after the uprising in 2012, and were arrested, must be freed…what are you saying? do you think we’re kids…..? It’s simple, If you want us to come, then free them,” one of the refugees lamented when he was given the chance to ask questions.
Some of the refugees announced that they would not in any way return to Cote D’voire because they lost all their properties and relatives during the war.
The arrival of the Ivorian refugees follow the 2010/2011 election dispute which claimed thousands of lives.
This led in the establishment of the Refugee Camps at Egyyeikrom, Accra and Ampain in the Central, Greater Accra and Western regions respectively.
Though some of them have traveled to different countries, about 11,000 Ivorian refugees were deployed to the camps during the uprising.
Egyeikrom camp for instance hosts about 1,500 refugees currently.
The delegation assured the refugees that all concerns raised will be delivered to the government of Cote D’voire.
Source: Kojo Ata Kakrah Abrowah || ghananewsonline.com.gh