Government of Ghana has vehemently repudiated claims by the government of the United States of America that Ghana Missions in the US have refused to issue travel documents to some deportees waiting to be repatriated.
The US government indicated that Ghana could be slapped with “visa restrictions” if it fails to comply with international obligations “regarding issuance of travel documents” to some Ghanaians awaiting deportation in the USA.
“In December 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) identified Ghana as being at risk of non-compliance on removals of those under deportation orders. Since then, the U.S. government has repeatedly engaged the Government of Ghana in both Washington, D.C., and Accra and has urged the government to abide by its international obligations and issue the necessary travel documents so that Ghanaians under deportation orders may depart the United States on commercial flights.
“If Ghana fails to comply with international obligations regarding the issuance of travel documents, the United States may be forced to begin implementing visa restrictions on Ghana, in accordance with U.S. law,” the US Embassy in Accra said in a statement Wednesday.
It added: “This helps to facilitate deportees’ departure on commercial flights. When the Government of Ghana fails to meet its ICAO obligation regarding the regular issuance of travel documents, the U.S. government is forced to employ charter flights for deportations. The Government of Ghana has the power to reduce, or even end, the use of charter flights by meeting its obligation to issue travel documents in a timely manner,” the statement said.
But the Akufo Addo led government in a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Friday said, government is undertaking due diligence to establish the nationalities of the deportees before they are issued with travel documents.
It said, government continues to engage its Missions in the United States of America on the matter and has already communicated its concerns to the US Embassy in Ghana over the issue.
“In the spirit of cooperation, therefore, Ghana Missions have the obligation to ensure that the right processes are followed to verify the identities of subjects for deportation, in order to avert the challenges with the Ghana Immigration Service upon arrival.
“The Ministry wishes to indicate its continued commitment to ensuring that the relevant measures are put in place to resolve any logistical and personnel constraints. The Ministry reaffirms the Government’s commitment to ensuring compliance with its international obligations under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as well as deepening its bilateral relations with all member countries, including the United States of America. The Government of Ghana further remains open for further engagements with all relevant stakeholders, to ensure that, the issues are resolved in a manner which will be mutually beneficial to both Ghana and the United States of America.”