Subject Libya Returnees To National Security Screening – Ablakwa Tells Gov’t

Ranking member of the Foreign Affairs committee of Parliament and MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is demanding government to subject some Libya returnees to security screening at the point of entry to ensure none of them carries in any ammunition.

This follows government’s announcement to repatriate some 70 Ghanaians who were rescued from the alleged slave trade in Libya, according to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey.

The Minister who was in Parliament on Wednesday to brief the House on the status of the alleged involvement of some Ghanaians in the slave trade in Libya, indicated that, following the revelation by the Minority, a fact-finding team of five was set up and sent to Libya to ascertain the situation.

The team, after visiting 6 detention centres, reported that they identified some 72 Ghanaian inmates who had been trafficked to the country, and while 70 of them were willing to return to Ghana, the other 2 are adamant.

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey is the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

“Mr. Speaker, out of the 72 Ghanaians identified by the team, 70 of them indicated their willingness to return to Ghana as soon as possible. Out of the remaining 2, one indicated his continuous desire to travel to Europe and was therefore not willing to return to Ghana; the other one indicated he would return to Ghana only after he had worked and saved enough money to sustain him and his family back home in Ghana’’ the Minister added.

She indicated that the Ministry is collaborating with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) repatriate these 70 persons to the country prompting the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and the Ghana Immigration Service to prepare towards their coming.

Screen Libya Returnees

But speaking to the Parliamentary Press Corps following the minister’s revelations, Mr. Ablakwa, indicated that, it is not good enough just to prompt the two organizations.

“We want to call on the government to institute a national security screening for all of these Ghanaians returning back to Ghana and we are making that call because of very obvious reasons. You recall that last year, we had to reveal  a special report by the Attorney General of Libya where Ghana was mentioned and some Ghanaians were identified to have  been collaborating with ISIS in Libya who are engaged in some acts of terrorism’’ Mr. Ablakwa observed.

Mr Ablakwa pointed to a recent arrest of some Ghanaians with grenades which were alleged to have been supplied to them by their Libyan partner who is suspected to be a member of the terrorist group, ISIS.

In the North Tongu Legislator’s view, the issue should be taken serious, a reason for his call for the returnees from Libya to go through security screening before allowed entry into the country.

While commending the Minister for the steps taken in investigating the situation in Libya, he also observed that, the earlier CNN report that first broke the story reported about 9 detention centres but the fact-finding team only visited 6 detention centres, hence it will be important if the other 3 detention centres are located so government can decide on the fate of the other Ghanaians who may be there as well.


Story by: Charles Akrofi/