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Joining forces to protect Ghana's railway dwellers

By Kathryn Achilles, Ghana campaigner for Amnesty International

Amnesty International has been calling on the Government of Ghana not to forcibly evict thousands of people from their homes alongside railway lines in Accra, the capital city, since December 2010.

This week, a number of organizations, including Amnesty International, signed a joint public statement urging the government to refrain from carrying out the evictions. The signature collection was coordinated by Amnesty International delegates attending the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, and our colleagues from the organization Women in Slums Economic Empowerment, Ghana (WISEEP) with whom we’ve worked very closely in opposing the forced eviction plans.

WITNESS, one of the organizations who signed the joint public statement have a great post on their blog on events in Dakar, including footage of a demonstration outside the Ghanaian embassy in  the city on 7 February, organized by the International Alliance of Inhabitants. They’ve also interviewed Fredrick Opoku from WISEEP.

These actions by so many organizations are vital in order to prevent the planned forced eviction of people from their homes, in connection with plans to redevelop the railway lines across the country.

On 21 January 2011, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly announced it would demolish all buildings built next to the railway lines in order for the construction work to begin in February. Although no forced evictions have yet been carried out, we’re worried they could happen at any time- even as soon as this week. You can take action with us by emailing the authorities to voice your concerns.