Latest News, Mon - 26 Nov 2012
Tripartite Commission on Voluntary Repatriation of Ivorian Refugees living in Ghana meets to draw road map
The third Tripartite Commission Meeting between Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and the UNHCR was held on 12th and 13th November at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Accra. The Meeting was a follow up to an earlier meeting held in Abidjan in June 2012, and is aimed at ensuring joint work in creating conditions conducive for the voluntary return in safety and dignity of Ivorian refugees resident in Ghana.
A Joint Communiqué was signed at the end of the meeting on 13 Nov 2012, by the Director of the Legal and Consular Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the Republic of Ghana, Mr. Sayuti Yahaya-Iddi, The Ambassador of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire in the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Bernard Ehui-Koutoua and the UNHCR Representative in Ghana Ms. Sharon J. Cooper. All the parties reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the Tripartite Agreement and the Practical Modalities.
With the signing of the agreement, interested refugees wishing to return home will be assisted to do so in safety and dignity. Over 9,000 Ivorian refugees and Asylum Seekers are currently residing in Ghana.
Prior to the signing of the communiqué, a Technical Working Group meeting was held; during the said meeting, activities which would enhance and strengthen information sharing such as on the activities which include organization of Go- and- See visits for refugees to Cote D’Ivoire, and Come- and- Tell visits of returned refugees and stakeholders from Ivorian side to Ghana; the objective of these activities being to ensure that refugees in Ghana have timely access to vital information on developments in Cote d’Ivoire to enable them to make a voluntary decision to return in safety and dignity.
As a follow up to the Tripartite Meeting, the members of the Technical Working Group of the Tripartite Commission comprising the Ivorian Ambassador, representatives from UN Operations in Cote d’Ivoire (ONUCI), UNHCR, Ghana Refugee Board and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the Republic of Ghana embarked on a visit to the Egyeikrom Refugee Camp in the Central Region. This was the first formal visit of the representatives of the Government of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire to a camp hosting Ivoirian refugees in Ghana. The aim of the visit was for the members of the Technical working Group to interact with refugees in the camp in an open forum.
The Ivorian ambassador to Ghana donated on behalf of the Ivorian delegation food items to both the host community and the refugees and made a cash donation to the refugee community in the camp.