Ranking member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has called on government to perform a search and identify a mission to trace Ghanaians that may have been left behind in Afghanistan.
According to him, the country has a duty of care to its citizens, and plans must be underway to ensure the safety of its citizens within Afghanistan.
He said currently, there is no significant information alluding to Ghanaians still being in Afghanistan; however, considering the high presence of international NGOs that were working in the country, it isn’t farfetched to assume Ghanaians are there.
“Ghana will have to carry out a search and identify mission albeit remotely to know if there are Ghanaians in Afghanistan at this point. We do know that we do not maintain a foreign mission in that country; in other words, we don’t have an embassy there.
“However, there are a number of international organisations working in Afghanistan; a number of countries have quickly identified their nationals who work within these organisations and are carrying out evacuations.
“So the first thing we need to do is to carry out this search and identify the mission and to see if the organisations these Ghanaian nationals work for are really taking care of them and have planned to evacuate them,” he said on JoyNews’ Upfront August 20.
He stated that Ghana should emulate the evacuation tactics employed by Kenya to identify and evacuate its nationals, as the country does not have the military and technical capacity to conduct the evacuation by itself.
“They [government] have to do what Kenya has done, by immediately identifying 12 Kenyan nationals in precarious situations. Kenya have been able to get them on the US evacuation flight. As we speak, they’re safe and sound in London.
“There are 40 other that the Kenyan authorities were able to move to next door Kazakhstan. So we ought to learn from what other African countries are doing, especially countries that do not have the military presence and so, do not control the evacuation because of bilateral and multilateral collaborations,” he said.
He added that “They have leveraged on that to bring their citizens away from harm’s way into a safer territory, either back home, or in other countries where they are far removed from the humanitarian crisis from Afghanistan.”
Meanwhile, he says the Ghanaian government is yet to commence any mission to search and identify its nationals as long as the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament is concerned.
“So far at the level of the foreign affairs committee, we do not have any information if that search and identify mission has begun as other countries are doing, and that is quite worrying.”
Source: Joy News