1,700 Burkinabes Besiege Ghanaian Town, GIS, Military Take Positions

Kwame Asuah Takyi – Comptroller-General, GIS


Personnel of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and the military have taken up positions in Widnaba Electoral Area in the Bawku District as some 1,700 Burkinabes seek refuge in the Upper East Region town.

The security personnel are ensuring maximum security as the refugees are housed in the homes of Good Samaritans in the town, a local radio station has been told by an assemblyman.

According to the assemblyman, Elisha Abila, their presence is causing a financial strain on the kitty of the assembly.

Details suggest that the refugees are reacting to threats from so-called jihadists who are known to be active in the nearby Francophone country and beyond.

While some of the refugees headed for Soogo, others went to Sapeliga, the nearest place for them being however Widnaba.

The assemblyman said “when you come here you will see that really, there are many foreigners here. Most of the houses are having at least five or more people.”

Continuing, he said, “we did the registration of women and children. For the men, they come in the night and sleep. Early in the morning they go back. For the women and children, we have registered 1,773. The military and personnel of the GIS have been stationed at vantage positions to ensure maximum security.

The assemblyman called for public support to help the community feed and house the asylum seekers. “We do not know when these people will go back. I was thinking that in a way, government could help in providing temporary structures for them. If they could help in feeding them it would help us,” he added.

There is a heightened insurgent activities in Burkina Faso and Mali, two countries which have a common border.

The Sahelian region including Niger are now restive parts of West Africa, neighbouring Togo suffering a fatal attack last year.

Ghanaian security personnel have been busy along the country’s frontiers, especially the Upper East Region.

Ghana is the nearest place for asylum seekers from Burkina Faso, the number referred to in this story being an apt evidence when Burkinabes decide to leave their country for fear of being harmed by activists.

By A.R. Gomda