Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey
The issuance of Emergency Travel Certificates to facilitate the deportations of Ghanaians from the US have been deferred until borders are re-opened.
Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, made this known in a statement in direct response to a question from Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member for North Tongu.
Mr Ablakwa had asked the minister about the terms of the agreement reached with the US leading to the lifting of Visa restrictions, and how many Ghanaians are to be removed from the USA.
Responding, the Minister recounted that during
the period of the sanctions, 125 Ghanaians who had been ordered to be removed from the United States were deported.
“Currently, interviews for persons cited for deportation are ongoing as agreed between the two sides,” she said.
“However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the issuance of Emergency Travel Certificates to facilitate their removal have been deferred until borders are re-opened,” according to the Minister.
She added that “it should be noted that both sides put in place modalities intended to facilitate and ensure that a procedure was followed in the identification and issuance of the appropriate travel documents in accordance with Ghana’s obligations under international protocols. It is important to state that whenever there was the need for specific interventions on humanitarian grounds, health or family, that was done by engaging the relevant US authorities.”
By Melvin Tarlue