Accra, Ghana (PANA) - Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on Thursday signed an agreement in Accra, the Ghanaian capital, for the voluntary repatriation of Ivorian refugees in Ghana.
The tripartite agreement will ensure that the officially registered 18,000 Ivorian refugees, who fled to Ghana in the wake of the brief civil war in that country, return home.
Some of the refugees, including former ministers, political and military officers, who are in four camps in Ghana, say they fear for their safety.
The agreement was signed by Mr. Daniel Kablan Duncan, the Ivorian Foreign Minister; Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, Ghana’s Foreign Minister, and Ms. Sharon Cooper, the UNHCR representative in Ghana.
It was witnessed by Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, who paid a one-day visit to Ghana on Thursday and his host, President John Evans Atta Mills.
The document provides the political and social framework for those who took refuge in Ghana during the crisis following the controversial presidential election in Cote d’Ivoire that was claimed by the former incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and President Ouattara.
Former President Gbagbo refused to leave office although the UN-sponsored vote indicated that he had lost to President Ouattara.
The Ivorian leader has agreed a similar deal with Liberia and is working with other countries that have Ivorian refugees.
Ouattara, in his inaugural speech last May, promised national reconciliation and reconstruction.
Only this week, he inaugurated the Commission on Dialogue, Truth and Reconstruction which is expected to work towards lasting peace.
-0- PANA MA/BOS 6Oct2011