The UK Embassy in Ghana has cautioned its nationals in the country to remain vigilant in the wake of violent clashes between protestors and security personnel in Ejura on Tuesday.
A team of military dispatched to the town in the Ashanti Region to disperse a crowd of angry youth protesting the death of their colleague, Ibrahim ‘Kaaka’ Mohammed turned chaotic. The military then reportedly fired into the crowd of protestors who are said to have been throwing missiles at the security personnel.
In a series of Tweets, the UK envoy in Ghana said: “We join with the Government of Ghana to condemn illegal criminal acts of violence and we call for calm to enable the emergency services to reach those in need. In line with our travel advice, British Nationals should remain vigilant, avoid any large public gatherings and demonstrations, monitor local media for up-to-date information, and follow the advice of local authorities.”
Meanwhile, calm has returned to Ejura as police beef up security in the area.
Travel advise for British citizens in Ghana.
Most visits to Ghana are trouble-free, but criminal activity does occur and can range from incidents of petty crime to violent crime. In 2021 there has been an increase in robbery, burglary, and serious assault, and such attacks can include the use of weapons. There have been cases of violent robberies involving foreign nationals who have been attacked and robbed at gun-point. Street crime like pick-pocketing and bag snatching is on the increase in Accra. Take sensible precautions. Avoid carrying large sums of money or valuables, use a hotel safe whenever possible and be particularly vigilant when withdrawing cash from ATMs. Be particularly vigilant at night, and avoid travelling alone. Attacks on vehicles are also on the increase, and some of those attacks also involve the use of weapons. Keep windows up and keep doors locked. Those who have suffered injury or worse during attacks have been perceived as not complying fully or quickly enough.
Take care at public beaches and avoid going to the beach on your own. Theft is the main problem, but there have been isolated incidents of violent crime and sexual assault in areas popular with tourists.
Theft of luggage and travel documents occurs at Kotoka International Airport and in hotels. Make sure your passport is secure at all times and don’t leave baggage unattended. Be wary of offers of help at the airport unless from uniformed porters or officials. All permanent staff at the airport wear an ID card showing their name and a photo. ID cards without a photo are not valid. If you are being collected at the airport, confirm the identity of your driver by asking for ID. British nationals have been robbed by impostors who have approached them before the main arrivals area pretending to be their driver.
The main areas of risk highlighted by the police are Graphic Road, George Walker Bush Highway, Accra Mall Roundabout, Awudome Cemetery Road, Pokuase-Amasaman Road, Teshie-Nungua road, Labadi Beach area, GIMPA road, and surrounding areas, and the Kokrobite Beach area. You should be especially vigilant in these locations.
Make sure you lock windows and secure accommodation both at night and before you go out. There have been cases of burglaries in areas used by the international community living overseas, including Airport Residential, Cantonments, Ridge, and Kokrobite.
There have been reports in the media of criminally-motivated kidnapping in Accra, Takoradi, and Kumasi, including targeting foreign nationals. Kidnaps can be for financial or political gain, or can be motivated by criminality. If you’re kidnapped, the reason for your presence is unlikely to serve as a protection or secure your safe release.
The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage-taking.