Some Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Upper East and Upper West Regions have raised concerns about the increasing influx of refugees from neighbouring Burkina Faso into their constituencies and surrounding areas.
The refugees are fleeing from the Jihadist attacks that have been taking place in Burkina Faso, seeking safety and shelter in Ghana.
However, the lawmakers are expressing worries that some of the Burkinabes who have sought refuge in Ghana are engaging in unfavourable practices that could pose a security threat to their constituents and the nation as a whole.
In response to this situation, three MPs have taken the initiative to address the issue on the floor of Parliament. Albert Akuka Alalzuuga, the MP for Garu, Mohammed Adams Supkparu, representing Sissala West, and Lydia Lamisi Akanvariba, the MP for Tempane, have jointly called on the government to take immediate action in resolving this concern.
They believe that urgent measures need to be put in place to address the challenges posed by the refugee influx and ensure the security and well-being of their constituents.
The Jihadist attacks in Burkina Faso have caused a humanitarian crisis, forcing many innocent civilians to flee their homes and seek refuge in neighbouring countries like Ghana.
The Garu MP indicated that “The influx of people from different backgrounds has the potential of creating cultural and social tension. Apart from the fact that these immigrants are seeking asylum, those who came with their livestock are causing threats to these communities, raising concerns about the safety of their crops as we are in the farming season.”
“The disregard for community rules and careless attitude towards the environment is posing serious challenges to these communities where they live. For instance, these communities have forest reserves but since their coming into these communities, refugees have been engaged in indiscriminate cutting of trees and the clearing of forest reserves that can harm severely our forest reserves and the survival of the ecosystem,” he stated.
Mr Alalzuuga further said that there were no proper places to shelter them, so most of them were forced to sleep in the open.
Mr Supkparu also said, “There are several challenges as far as this situation is concerned. One is about the communication situation in the various communities that are sharing borders with the neighbouring Burkina Faso and many of these people come into our country through unapproved routes, and it is very difficult to differentiate between a refugee and a Jihadist.”
He, therefore, called on the government to establish destitute camps around those constituencies that are sharing a border with Burkina Faso.
The MP for Tempane, Lydia Lamisi Akanvariba on her part attributed the influx of refugees from neighbouring country Burkina Faso to the outbreak of Anthrax in the Upper East Region.