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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 March 2008, 15:45 GMT
Ghana to expel female protesters
Liberians in Ghana
The Liberians fled into Ghana during the years of conflict
A group of Liberian women refugees who were accused by a minister of holding naked protests by the roadside are to be deported from Ghana.

Hundreds of the women were arrested on Monday and taken away from a refugee camp in 10 buses, witnesses say.

They were protesting at plans to send them home with $100 - they demand $1,000 or to be resettled in the West.

But the women deny that they stripped during their month-long protests. "It's a lie," one told the BBC.

Stripping naked is a traditional form of protest amongst poor and powerless women in parts of Africa.

Interior Minister Kwamena Bartels denied that Ghana was engaging in forced repatriation and pointed out that the Liberian war had ended in 2003.

He said they had broken local laws by not informing the police of their protest.

"When women strip themselves naked and stand by a major highway, that is not a peaceful demonstration," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

He said they would be deported later this week.

At least 27,000 Liberians are in Ghana after years of conflict at home.

Milton "General Butt Naked" Blahyi
Liberia's civil war ended in 2003

Some of the refugees told the BBC they had been beaten by the Ghanaian police at Buduburam camp, west of the capital, Accra.

They refuse to be integrated into local society and say they will continue protesting at the UN refugee agency's offer.

"$100 is not anything you can start life with. We are all lost," one woman said.

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