DAKAR (Reuters) – The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Wednesday it was concerned at reports in Ghana that hundreds of citizens seeking refuge from an insurgency in neighboring Burkina Faso were being expelled.
Burkina Faso is one of many West African countries battling armed groups that have taken root in northern Mali and taken over the land across the region over the past decade, killing thousands of people and displacing more than six million people in the process.
More than 2 million people have fled their homes in Burkina Faso alone, where frustrations over growing insecurity prompted two military coups last year.
Some, mostly women and children, have sought refuge in northern Ghana, where the insurgency has also struck in recent years.
Twitter user Alhaji Gbangbanku shared a video online of dozens of women holding their children, sitting on the ground in a parking lot with buses.
“The repatriation of Fulbes from Burkina Faso continues today in several communities in northern Ghana,” he wrote, describing it as a “military exercise” and a “dangerous development”.
Reuters could not independently verify the videos or the evictions.
UNHCR on Wednesday called on the Ghanaian government to guarantee access to its territory and asylum to Burkinabés fleeing the violence, and to halt reported deportations.
The agency added in a statement that it was working with the Ghanaian authorities to ensure the protection of more than 8,000 Burkinabé nationals and had set up a reception center in the Upper East border region with a capacity of 4,000 people.
The Ghanaian government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Bate Felix; Additional reporting by Maxell Akalaare Adombila in Accra; Writing by Sofia Christensen; Editing by Aurora Ellis)