The Information Officer of the United States (US) Embassy in Accra, Jeanne L. Clark says the purpose of the cautionary statement issued by the US to its citizens to be wary of their actions in the country is not meant to cause any alarm as critics have argued.
According to her, the Embassy issued the statement as part of its official routine to keep the citizens abreast of activities in a particular country, for which Ghana is now the focal point.
The US Embassy on Monday cautioned its citizens in a statement to take note of the “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.”
The Embassy also urged “US citizens in Ghana” in the statement titled: “Security Message for U.S Citizens: Potential Reaction to the Supreme Court’s Election Decision” to maintain “a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security/safety awareness during this politically-sensitive period.”
Speaking in an interview with Radio Gold, Jeanne Clark explained that the statement “is not an alarmist tactic by the US…Citizens are here for variety of reasons. They are students. They are researchers, they are business people. They are religious workers, come in very remote areas of Ghana. They might not be following the news and we want to make sure that they have received message from us that they should avoid being in large crowd.”
She further asked critics to review their comments because to her, Ghana is not the first country to see the Embassy give a warning to its nationals. She cited that a similar thing was done by the US Embassy in Kenya to check on the wellbeing of the citizens.
The critics, she advised, “should take a few minutes and look around globally and see for yourselves that this is really a routine practice for us. This is not meant to cause any alarm. In fact, your own Police and your own Ministry issued the same advice, Ghanaians, to stay away from crowds because in crowds; that’s when potential for harm can occur. And so, I don’t think we’re that different than your government.”
She also debunked claims that US citizens in the nation have been asked to stay off their businesses in the meantime and therefore stressed that they are at liberty to carry on with their operations.