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General News of Wednesday, 26 September 2018


Ghana-U.S. reach diplomatic agreement to deport 7000 persons - Report

File photo of some depotees File photo of some depotees

Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States has reached a diplomatic understanding with authorities to deport 7000 Ghanaians from the country.

Dr. Baffour Adjei-Bawuah said there is no longer any dispute with the nationality of the affected persons which had been a bone of contention earlier.

He said American immigration office has every documentation and information that allows the person to be brought into the country so they do not need confirmation from the Ghanaian Embassy.

“All that we were talking about was for a certain fairness to be applied and the Embassy not necessarily pressured to agree to see some people deported. This is where we had a difference of opinion with the US authorities,” he said.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, he added that “it’s not a matter of agreeing to deport people without their endorsement but we have had enough discussion for a certain sanity to prevail.”

Dr. Baffour Adjei-Bawuah who had refused to endorse the deportation forms despite the insistence of US authorities disclosed that the US threatened Ghana with visa restrictions.

In May this year, the Ambassador who was caught in a cat and mouse game with the American authorities told Joy News “it leaves me with difficulty to sanction the deportation of my citizen and I have been trying hard to explain this to the authorities.”

Appalled by the Ambassador’s latest stance, the minority in parliament slammed the government for not telling the House about the development especially the Foreign Affairs Committee.

A member of the Committee, Dr Clement Apaak said they were disappointed to have heard about the issue in the media.

The Builsa MP said although he was disappointed with Dr Adjei-Baffour’s stance, he understands the difficult place he finds himself and the decision he has to take.

“I can sympathize with him because it has not been the most pleasant experience as far as he is concerned,” he said.

He added that “in terms of the Americans now taking full responsibility of the 7000 persons and having the documentation to show those involved are Ghanaians who have violated their immigration laws there is no way to fight it.”

Mr Apaak said it is still an issue of concern, however, to find out the kind of violation those affected are said to have committed against their host country. He is interested in knowing what will happen to the families and properties the 7000 persons may have acquired while in the United States.

“Every human being regardless of whatever infraction committed must be treated with dignity and their rights must be respected. Whatever they did does not give the US authorities the right to simply just deport them without taking due cognisance of all other factors,” he argued.

According to him, the other relevant issue government must address is to put in place a contingency plan for those affected when they arrive in Ghana so they do not become a burden on the society.

“If for nothing at all the government led by Nana Akufo-Addo who used to be a Foreign Affairs Minister should have conveyed to parliament and the Foreign Affairs committee about this new arrangement,” he said.

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