General News of Monday, 19 August 2013
The United States of America, through its Embassy in Ghana, has advised all U.S. citizens in the West African country of a “potential increase in political tensions and the possibility of isolated violence associated with the anticipated August 29 announcement of the Ghanaian Supreme Court’s decision on the legal challenge to Ghana’s election results”.
A statement from the U.S. embassy titled: “Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Potential Reaction to the Supreme Court’s Election Decision” said “U.S. citizens in Ghana are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security/safety awareness during this politically-sensitive period”.
It warned that: “U.S. citizens in Ghana should avoid the offices of political parties, Ghana’s Supreme Court, the buildings of other institutions associated with the elections, and all political rallies”.
The U.S. State Department said: “We recommend that U.S. citizens in Ghana monitor the local news and avoid all demonstrations, as even those intended to be peaceful may suddenly turn violent”.
The statement also urged all U.S. citizens to “stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Embassy Ghana web site” and “also get global updates at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website where you can find the current worldwide caution”.
U.S. citizens planning on living in or travelling to Ghana within the period have also been advised to “please take the time to tell us about your trip by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Programme (STEP)”.
The statement said: “If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. You should remember to keep all of your information in STEP up to date”.
The State Department further noted that: “It is important during enrollment or updating of information to include your current phone number and current email address where you can be reached in case of an emergency”.