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General News of Thursday, 17 January 2019


Ghanaian woman files sexual assault complaint against Moroccan Ambassador to Ghana

A delegation from Morocco's Foreign Affairs Ministry visited Ghana to investigate the incident A delegation from Morocco's Foreign Affairs Ministry visited Ghana to investigate the incident

Morocco has sent a delegation to Accra, Ghana, to investigate a sexual assault allegation against the country’s ambassador to Ghana, Mohamed Farahat.

Jemimah Flinthood-Brace, a local agent at the embassy, says Ambassador Farahat tried to “abuse her on two occasions” when she entered his office for work.

In her resignation letter, a copy of which Morocco World News received, Brace said she had to resign from her post at the embassy because she could not deal with the psychological toll of her boss’s sexual harassment.

“This letter is to inform you that I am forced to resign from my position as a local agent at the embassy of the kingdom of Morocco in Accra, Ghana. The resignation is the result of sexual harassment I have endured for the past few weeks.”

According to Brace’s letter, Ambassador Farahat made sexual advances on her on two occasions in early and late December.

“On two separate occasions I have [been] sexually harassed by you. Fist (sic) on 11th December where you groped me in your office after I had served coffee and gain in your office on 20th December where you told me to turn around so you could clap my buttocks.”

“It is rather unfortunate that the person we should be able to seek refuge in when we are harassed sexually by our colleagues at the Embassy is the one who is involved in such an unprincipled act. I will not allow the stress that comes with being sexually harassed [to] be a part of my life. Nothing is worth more than my mental wellbeing and peace of mind.”

A test of ‘courage’

On the same day she resigned from her position at the embassy, January 4, Brace addressed a formal complaint to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rabat.

The complaint letter, which Morocco World News received, gave details of the allegations, recounting the two incidents that the resignation letter had briefly mentioned. According to Brace, the ambassador tried to buy her silence by promising her better prospects for her career at the embassy.

“He told me he would sponsor a month-long internship for me at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Rabat, but first he had to make sure I was courageous enough to earn it.”

Brace then detailed how the ambassador began to sexually assault her. She concluded, “I managed to break free and told him if that was a test of my courage, then I was timid.”

Farahat has been Morocco’s ambassador to Ghana since April 2018. Prior to that, the 60-year-old diplomat, a graduate of several political science and international relations programs in Morocco and France, including the prestigious National School of Administration (ENA) in Paris, held a number of high-profile positions in Morocco’s foreign ministry.

His previous posts include chief of the foreign ministry’s cultural section, chief of the ministry’s international cooperation and regional partnerships office, and head of mission at the Moroccan embassy in China.

Morocco is investigating to “determine what really happened” and inflict relevant punishments, according to an official statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.