General News of Friday, 4 August 2017
The Canadian High Commission in Ghana has said the travel advice it issued warning Canadian citizens against travelling to Ghana over looming terrorist attacks is over a year old.
In a statement, the High Commission said the Government of Canada regularly advises Canadians of the potential risks, including health, safety and security that they may encounter when travelling abroad through travel advice and advisories.
The Commission said the travel advice in recent local media reports has “been in place for over a year”. It, however, noted that “our advice to Canadians on safety and security in Ghana remains unchanged. The relevant text is similar to that found elsewhere in the region and around the world.”
This comes on the back of media reports on Thursday, 3 August 2017 that the Canadian and the UK governments had issued new terror alerts in Ghana warning their citizens against travelling to the West African country.
The clarification by the Canadian High Commission ties in with Minister of National Security, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah’s comments on Friday that both the UK and Canadian High Commissions have denied issuing any such new warning.
Mr Kan-Dapaah told Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) host Moro Awudu that: “This is only a travel advice that the western countries have been known to issue to their citizens. The one that is on the website today that has caused all this panic is not something that was planted yesterday or this week, certainly not this month, or this year; it’s been there for years. The same advice word for word, so I don’t really know what has changed.”
He continued: “Indeed, one of them simply says that: ‘Ghana has not experienced any terrorist attack in the past but there have been terrorist attacks in some neighbouring countries, and, therefore, it is possible that there can be an attack in Ghana’. This is the advice and I don’t really find anything alarming in that sort of advice, especially when it is not a new one but has been there for a number of years. So, I don’t see why we should be panicking about this.”
Mr Kan-Dapaah said both the UK High Commission and the Canadian Embassy have expressed shock at the local media reports.
He told Moro Awudu: “I want to affirm that there is no known terrorist threat to this country. If there was any such known terrorist threat made known to our partners, we have a very good partnership with the United States, we have very good partnership with UK and with France. If there was any such thing, I will be the first person to be informed.
“I have not been informed of any such thing. On the contrary, I did talk to the acting British High Commissioner yesterday, he was shocked, he was surprised and he didn’t know why this should become a cause for panic in our country. I talked to the person in charge of security at the Canadian Embassy, she also was surprised, and, in fact, if I can quote her, she called it ‘media mischief’, so please there is nothing like that, there is no known threat.”