WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH: An Estimated 500 Liberian Women Refugees, Protesting in Ghana’s Buduburam Refugee Camp Arrested and Thrown on Buses and Trucks- Can Somebody Tell Me What’s Going On Here?

patiricias-favorite-photo-by-barry-reeger.jpg

When refugees from one of the world’s bloodiest wars can remain in a refugee camp in the tens of thousands while the world goes on for fourteen to twenty years, and because of a peaceful protest, be thrown into buses and trucks at dawn, with their children, involuntarily taken to a destination not of their choice by military men from their host country, this is a sad day for the world. The last I heard, there was a United Nations and a refugee commission to help ease such a conflict between refugees who have nothing and their host country. But to pack them up while they are supposed to be asleep on buses for repatriation to their homeland is not a good thing to do to any group of people.

But this is women’s History Month. A week ago, there were big celebrations of Women’s History around the world, Women’s achievement, and a group of protesting, angry women, trying to get the world to listen to them get forced on trucks to be forcefully sent back to a country they escaped forcefully years ago? The sad thing is that many of these refugees have lived through other times when they saw many of their country people forcefully taken on trucks and dumped in unmarked graves during the Samuel Doe Charles Taylor wars. Now before I go on, let me say this is the news. I am not making any of this up.

refwomen-buduburam22.jpg

Liberian women sitting out in protest a week ago before the arrest. ( SOURCE : http://www.equalitytrumpet.net)

According to news from Agence de Presse Afraine at this link: http://www.apanews.net/apa.php?article58141

about 200 women and children were forcefully removed at 4 am by military forces and taken to an unknown destination, and that sources indicated that these peaceful demonstrators will be repatriated involuntarily. In another news brief, there are claims that the number of those rounded up with AK-47s and taken away was as high as 500 refugee women. Check out news sources for more news on this grave human rights issue. As a blogger and a Liberian, I thought to respond to the dozens of hits my blog has got every day with readers searching for news on this Liberian -Ghana -world problem.

ghanaw1.jpg

Liberian women are seen here, sitting peacefully in protest about treatment in the Buduburam Camp in Ghana

I bring this grave news to your attention only as a blogger, knowing that I am not a journalist, and most of the information I react to comes from internet sources. We do not hear any news about Africa or about the rest of the world from our news media; therefore, many of us depend on the Internet for our news. I am now here reacting as a blogger, a writer, a Liberian woman, a poet who believes that there is a need to bring harmony to such situations before they become destructive, as a relative to some of those women who are protesting, who were forcefully removed from what they have known as home for so many years, and as a human being.

There are things we can do to assist others in getting the news and there are people we can call to stop this craziness. I have sent an e-mail to Amnesty International, an e-mail to The Advocates for Human Rights, have signed the petition at this link, where you too, can sign:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/buduburam/

Now, maybe the Liberian President, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her government will pressure the UN and the government of Ghana to return the protesting women to their homes and give them a voice. It is my hope that the Liberian government will move speedily to resolve this problem. The government of Ghana is also in a tight spot, but the use of the military on these refugees does not look too good for both sides.

This is Women’s History Month. Let us allow the voices of the disadvantaged women around the world to be heard. There have been hundreds of hits over this week on my blog where readers are desperately looking for news of this horrible news. Now join in and protest in your corner and in the open so that these women are released by tonight.

Remember, this is Women’s History Month and we are increasingly being called on to support women in power. But around the world, women are still struggling just to be left alone to sit on the bare muddy ground to protest.

Advertisements

9 Responses to “WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH: An Estimated 500 Liberian Women Refugees, Protesting in Ghana’s Buduburam Refugee Camp Arrested and Thrown on Buses and Trucks- Can Somebody Tell Me What’s Going On Here?”

  1. Penelope Says:

    I completely agree with you – the field coordinator for my org. has sent us news regarding this situation, and I find it unbelievable and unacceptable that they arrested this group of women for deportation, with tear gas and machine guns…… a group of women and children!!!!

    lets keep in touch about this, best regards, Penelope

    http://www.penesmeanderings.blogspot.com

  2. poetryforpeace Says:

    Thanks, Penelope, we need to do all we can to bring attention to our people’s plight. Refugees should not be treated by a host country in this manner. I am waiting to hear what’s being done. I have been down with flu for two weeks, and therefore, have had no voice to call around, but I will.

    Patricia

  3. sandy schoenfeld Says:

    Tne U N and Ghanaian Conciliates should be called requesting that decent and regular food food/water rations be given these desperately hungry and penniless and dependent as well as medical help for some never-healed wounds from damage that long ago war in Liberia . Civilians there were used as de facto targets as well as shields (for what little good that did)

    I just got offline with a very real and dear person who had not eaten or had good water in 2 days and cant evet get it free in her net cafe there (even though she sweeps up to afford a 1/2 hour rental)

    NOTE: I have conducted interviews online and by phone of many in Africa, in diverse circumstances, and in fact have even gotten fairly deep rapport with some 419ers in Nigeria… since I can speak their slang well enough to break the ice and scam mode, if I wish to take the time to talk to them (or mess with them depending on which scam they run)

    This rounding up (and very likely so much worse behind closed doors out of site of the press) appears to be an ethnic cleansing (systematized murder) and yet for an unknown set of reasons, none good, tje U N is doing little to correct this problem although it relates to the UN’s own supposed program of repatriation and care, and violates protocol to do nothing.

    best regards.

    SG
    visit http://www.howlingwolfphotos.com to see rare, newly-made-public images of the legendary blues giant HOWLING WOLF (CHESTER BURNETT)

    • Anonymous Says:

      just will add, now, that the elder woman there whom I became friends with told me about a year and a half ago that the small amount (about $100 USD) the U.N. was offering to repatriate Buduburam residents barely covers the cost of transportation back and one inflated value sack of rice.

      Such lack of financial support, when there is no guaranteed support system/family members remaining there (in Liberia) has forced a number of women so repatriated to become prostitutes and men to engage in other crime to get by.

      Just some of the other terrible matters right at that camp: funds for food sent kept by Ghanaian authorities and then poor or even spoiled and non-familiar food given to the refugees; the occasional good break to get a visa set (a sponsor) to get out of there and come to, for example, the USA was instead used to repaper Ghanaian friends of corrupt Ghanaian officials involved in camp administration; at times carte blanche sanctioning of Ghanaian citizens to go into the camp and do violence to residents with no answering to justice agencies); and soldiers making sweeps of the camp to find some criminals they claimed were hiding there but, in the process, doing abusive things to those not involved in any way, such as my friend herself whose place was torn apart “searching” and she, then lined up outside, struck on the side of the head with a rifle butt.

      I regret to say I have been able to keep up with this matter routinely, as there are other places and similar matters that have taken my time and all of my beyond most basic needs money to provide help, such as getting back trafficked women from mid-east job placements as maids but placed in not uncommon rape homes, and other such matters which is all I can do myself on a fixed low income

      I did support a small farm in Ghana (to assist the owner get needed fertilzer and pesticide, but found out later that some swindler/thief there befriended the woman farmer (whom I have known for years and can assure its no type of scam) and after he helped her grow it (financing some water needs) and harvest the crops, made off with all of them one night in two large trucks, and has never been found (and that this is not a singular event there).

      Sandy Schoenfeld

      • poetryforpeace Says:

        Sandy, please let’s keep in contact. This issue of Refugee women weighs on my mind when I rise and when I go to bed. I tried to meet my country’s President to discuss these issues of repatriating Liberians home and other issues, and even as important as I am, my appointment was canceled the very afternoon of the appointment. What we need is a united front of the government of Liberia, of the UN, and of the country of refuge to assist and make our people return home. Thanks for your love and assistance, which was stolen. There are other refugee women stuck in Nigeria, I was told, and am researching that story to find out its validity. They are worse off, I hear than the ones in Ghana. Maybe we need to form a band, an organization to help this situation, and I am seriously thinkin of doing that. Blessings always.

        Patrica

  4. Penelope Says:

    Please sign the petition calling on authorities to insure that the rights of refugees in Ghana are being upheld:

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/LiberianRefugees/index.html

    It will be passed on to authorities as soon as we garner enough support.

    This petition is co-sponsored by a group of NGOs and individuals who have worked and are currently working in the Buduburam refugee settlement.

    Thank you.

  5. poetryforpeace Says:

    Dear Penelope,

    I have signed the petition, and call on bloggers to visit and sign as I did last week. I have also sent out over a hundred e-mails to my list of contacts to sign the petition, and am sure many of them will.

    Thanks for the strong petition.
    Patriicia

  6. reanna jones Says:

    THE EARS OF THE WORLD MAY BE TOO SMALL TO HEAR THE VOICES OF THE LIBERIAN WOMAN.THE WORLD MAY COUNT YOU AS ONE OF THE LESS IMPORTANT PEOPLE MAYBE BECAUSE OF THE COLOR OF YOUR SKIN. BUT ONE THING I KNOW THE GOD WHO HAS TAKEN YOU THROUGH THE PAST 18 YEARS WILL HEAR HIS CHILDREN IN THE WILDRENESS. OUR PRAYERS WILL ALWAYS BE WITH YOU.GOD WILL BE THE JUDGE.

  7. poetryforpeace Says:

    Thanks, Reanna,

    What is appalling is that up until now, there is no serious stand by the Liberian government, and the violence against these refugees continues up until today. People are being killed and women are being violated by a government that they were supposedly being protected by. This is so sad.
    Patricia


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: