The US government has cautioned its citizens in Ghana to stay away from zones where protest and demonstration are usually held in the country during the December 7 polls.
A statement issued by the US Embassy in Ghana said although they have not picked up information regarding any planned protests, US nationals should be cautious because such social disruptions “could occur with little or no warning throughout Ghana.”
“Exercise caution during the election process, particularly around polling locations in the weeks before and after the elections. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. Avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place and exercise caution when in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations,” the statement added.
‘US condemns clashes in Ghana’
The US Embassy had earlier condemned some clashes between members of the governing National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party in front of the resident of flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo.
The Embassy further threatened to revoke visas for persons who incite violence ahead of the elections.
The statement titled ‘Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Accra (Ghana), Safety Considerations and the Upcoming Elections’ also urged US nationals to stay off some selected areas in eight regions of the country.
Below is the full statement:
Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Accra (Ghana), Safety Considerations and the Upcoming Elections
The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, Ghana will hold its presidential and parliamentary elections. While the Embassy has no information regarding planned protests, it should be noted that social disruptions or protests could occur with little or no warning throughout Ghana.
Exercise caution during the election process, particularly around polling locations in the weeks before and after the elections. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. Avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place and exercise caution when in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.
Review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates. Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities.
The Embassy identified the following locations in Accra as key areas where people converge to hold spontaneous political rallies and demonstrations:
- State House
- The Ministries
- Kwame Nkrumah Circle
- Independence Square
- Mantse Agbona (James Town)
- Kawokudi Park
- Nima Police Station Park
Embassy personnel are not permitted to travel at night outside of major cities and are encouraged to avoid the following areas outside of Accra:
Upper West: Lawra, Wa Central
Upper East: Bawku
Northern: Tolon, Sagnarigu, Yendi
Volta: Nkwanta South, Hohoe, Ho Central, Adaklu, Ketu South
Western: Jomoro, Bia West
Brong Ahafo: Techiman South, Tain, Berekum West, Berekum East, and
Ashanti: Bantama, Asokwa, Nhyiaeso, Manhyia North, Manhyia South, Suame, Oforikrom, and Asawase.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens travelling to or residing in Ghana enrol in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy to contact you in an emergency. If you do not have internet access, enrol directly with the U.S. embassy in Accra, Ghana, using the below contact information.