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Ghana Government Officials Deny Religious Conflict Claims Of Their Nationals Seeking Asylum

July 11, 2014

About 200 Ghanaian fans who were flown to Brazil to support the national team, the Black Stars, at the World Cup, have applied to the Brazilian authorities for asylum. The would-be Ghanaian applicants are  claiming they are Muslims fleeing religious conflict and persecution.

Reports say they filed their applications in the southern city of Caxias do Sul, one of Brazil's most prosperous areas.

Ghana World Cup Fans

In a story first carried by Reuters, and later by SaharaReporters and other global media outlets, the government of Ghana has fired back, and has formally denied any form of religious conflict or persecution in the country.

A statement was released and signed by the Deputy Minister for Information and Media Relations, Felix Kwakye Ofosu.  In that statement Ofosu, speaking for the government, categorically denied any such claims and promised a thorough investigation into the matter.

"The basis for this alleged request is completely false as no religious conflict is taking place in Ghana," the Ofosu statement said.

"Ghana's mission in Brazil has been instructed to liaise with the Brazilian authorities to investigate the matter," the statement added.

Serra Gaucha is believed by many to be a haven for employment seekers, and Brazil's laws permit refugees to work legally in the country once they have cleared the asylum seeking procedure.

"It has became a magnet for foreign workers. You go through the streets and you can see many Haitians and Senegalese selling pirate CDs and watches. The area is overcrowded now," said Federal Police Chief Noerci da Silva Melo.

Ghana is seen not only as one of Africa's most peaceful and prosperous countries, but also as one of the countries with a culturally and religiously cohesive society.

Read the full statement from government below: