GHANA TO PROVIDE HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO PERSONS FROM RWANDA, YEMEN AND SYRIA
Accra January 6th, 2016 – The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Hanna Serwaah Tetteh (MP), in a press release, clarified Government’s decision to offer humanitarian assistance including granting settlements in Ghana, to some persons of Rwandan, Yemeni and Syrian origins.
The Minister explained that Government took this decision cognisant of various factors including the ongoing humanitarian crises in the Middle East, unwillingness of the ex-convicts to resettle in their countries of origin, and the fufillment of Ghana’s obligation, as a member of the International Community, to provide humanitarian assistance when the need arises.
The Minister also assured Ghanaians that, the decision would not stall Government’s responsibility to protect the safety and security of our own citizens, and would take all the necessary steps to ensure the the ex-convicts are subjected to security checks before admitted into the country.
(Below is the full statement by the Honourable Minister)
During the year 2015, the Governmnent of Ghana was requested to assist in the resettlement of a number of persons from Rwanda and Yemen, and taking into cognisance the grave humanitarian crises in the Middle East, Ghana has also decided to provide refuge to some displaced persons in Syria who already have relatives in Ghana.
Prior to winding its affairs in 2015, the Government was approached by representatives of the International Tribunal for Rwanda to resettle some of the persons who had been tried and had either been acquitted and discharged or had been sentenced and served their time but did not find it appropriate to resettle in Rwanda. We have decided to respond to the request of the Tribunal, and have indicated our readiness to take two of such persons and give them residence in Ghana.
At the request of the US Government, we have also agreed to accept two detainees of Yemeni origin who were detained in Guantánamo but have been cleared of any involvement in terrorist activities, and are being released. They are unable to return to Yemen at the moment, and we have indicated our willingness to accept them for a period of two years, after which they may leave the country.
Additionally, the Government has decided to accept relatives of members of Syrian community already resident in Ghana who have been displaced as a result of the conflicts in their country to settle in Ghana.
In all instances, the persons who are being allowed into the country would be subjected to security clearance, and their activities would be monitored during their stay in Ghana.
Ghana recognises that, as a member of the International Community, we have the responsibility to assist in the international crisis situation having regard to our own resources and capacity to assist, and it is in this regard that Government has decided to take this action.
We wish to assure the public that, in doing so, we are cognisant of the need to protect the safety and security of our own citizens, and are taking all the necessary steps to ensure that is done.
- Signed -
Honourable Hanna Serwaah Tetteh (MP)
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration
© IPAB, January, 2016