Wa Central Constituency Member of Parliament Alhaji Rashid Pelpuo has called on government to make a definite pronouncement on the status of Burkinabe migrants currently being housed in various communities in Sissala East.
Over 1,600 illegal migrants from northern Burkina Faso in May this year fled their home country to settle along the Sissala enclave as farmers over alleged unrest and terrorist threats in the neighbouring Francophone West African country.
About 28 new persons, comprising eight women and twenty children, were turned away in May 2019 by Ghana Immigration Service officials for attempting to cross into the country along the Lang Border Station.
The border officials said the migrants, believed to be of Moshie descent had no official documentation such as resident or traveling permits and had not been screened medically.
“Government should be decisive and work with the United Nations and let us understand, if they are refugees, they would be held as refugees and would be kept in that way, but if they are escapees too, they will go back to their country,” Alhaji Pelpuo said.
The Legislator, who is also an International Relations Expert, was speaking to the GNA in Lipilime in the Sissala areas about the threat terrorism from the Sahel Region of Burkina Faso posed to Ghana.
He stressed the point that, “We [Ghana] grant them refugee status and keep them the way they are so as to ensure they don’t move and travel anyhow to cause trouble or danger to society.
“We hear about very active terrorist activities in Burkina Faso,” he added: “The tension is forcing people there to move into Ghana, the worry is that bad people could take advantage of that and come into Ghana and cause problems”.
He urged the state security agencies to step up their surveillance on suspicious characters and also intensify screening of people crossing the borders into the country.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant-General Obed Boamah Akwa, visited some the area over the weekend to assess the security situation, following reports of growing terrorist threats from neighbouring West African countries.
His visit to Tumu, Hamile and Wa in the Upper West Region as well as Bole in the Savannah Region comes, barely two weeks after a Burkinabe gunman was arrested over suspected terrorist act in Hamile Roman Catholic Church during mass service.