More than 1,872 refugees, including Ghanaians, have fled a trouble spot in Burkina Faso to seek refuge in Ghana due to terrorist attacks by militants against local militia.
The mostly children refugees have fled from Beriyale, a community in Burkina Faso, where a recent suspected Jihadist’s attack led to the death of two residents, one of whom left behind three wives and 13 children.
The Ghanaians among the refugees are doing business there, while others are farming in Burkina Faso and living there with their families.
The Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, and some top hierarchy of the military and police, as well as officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), have toured the three districts where the refugees are being accommodated to assess the situation.
Majority of the refugees are currently being accommodated in six camps in the Binduri District where temporary structures for shelter have been provided by the district assembly.
The refugee camps are located in Issakatingen, Bansi Bulungu, Bansi Central, Yarigungu, Yalugu and Kuloko communities.
About 700 of the refugees, who fled to Ghana due to the latest terrorist attack, are being camped in Gentinga in the Bawku Municipality, while about 100 others are currently residing in Sapeliga in the Bawku West District.
During the visit, the minister presented quantities of food and other essential items on behalf of the government to the refugees for their basic needs.
The Member of Parliament (MP) of the Binduri Constituency and a Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Abduali Abanga, and the district assembly also presented food items to refugees in the area.
The Binduri District Security Committee, acting upon advice, is putting in place the necessary measures to erect temporary structures to accommodate the refugees.
The committee has further directed the construction of emergency security posts, close to the river which separates the district from Burkina Faso, to host military and immigration personnel.
Generally, security has been beefed up at all border communities within the district to prevent a spill-over of the attacks into communities close to the Ghana-Burkina Faso border in the region.
After visiting the three districts, Mr Yakubu said the government would provide the refugees with the needed humanitarian support in order for them to live comfortably.
He cautioned them against entertaining strangers from Burkina Faso into their respective camps.
“I, therefore, call on you to report any suspicious persons, who come around, to the security personnel to be arrested and interrogated,” he said.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday, the Chief Executive of the Binduri District, Ayinga Abagre Yakubu, said the recent attacks in Burkina Faso and the influx of its nationals into the district had created fear and panic among the residents.
He noted that some residents were unable to go about their normal duties for fear of being attacked by terrorists due to the district’s proximity to Burkina Faso.
He, however, stressed that “the DISEC is doing everything possible to protect the residents from any possible terrorist attack.
“I wish to urge the residents to remain calm as the security was on top of the situation and will do everything to make the district safe.”
The Ministry for National Security recently launched a citizens' awareness campaign aimed at protecting the country against terrorists attacks.
The campaign, dubbed: "See something, say something", encourages the public to be vigilant of the activities of suspicious characters and report such activities and characters to the security agencies.
The launch formed part of the ministry's border counter-terrorism strategy aimed at sensitising the public to terrorism threats and encouraging the citizenry to collaborate with state security agencies to reduce the threat of terrorism in the country.
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