US has no moral right to sanction Ghana – Kwesi Pratt Jnr slams US government

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Managing editor of ‘The Insight’ newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has tersely registered his displeasure with the US government for its decision to impose visa sanctions on Ghana for its refusal to accept nationals that have been removed from the U.S.

In what he describes as “impunity” and “arrogance in the extreme”, Kwesi Pratt Jnr explained that the US government has played so many detrimental roles in several countries around the world and as such does not have any moral authority to tell a sovereign state like Ghana “what to do and how to do it.”

“…. It is not the best governed country in the world, so what moral authority does the US have to be telling all of us what to do and how to do it, it has no such authority…look at what the US has done around the world, the impunity with which it has acted…their role in the overthrow of the Nkrumah government…this level of impunity cannot be tolerated by anybody,” he observed.

He is of the view that the posture of the US government in demanding that the government of Ghana to kowtow to what he calls their ‘maltreatment of the Ghanaian people is in violation of International Laws’ and it is ‘disgusting’ and must not in any way be tolerated.

“I’m so so disgusted about the US talking down on our government, my government and treating it as if it doesn’t know what it’s about, I’m so angry,” he charged.

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Mr Pratt Jnr reached out to Ghanaians to support the gavernement regardless of the mistakes done in the past in putting the US government at bay.

What did the US government do?

A press statement by the US government dated January 31, 2019, explained that it has imposed sanctions on Ghana for refusing to accept its nationals that have been removed from the U.S.

“Ghana has failed to live up to its obligations under international law to accept the return of its nationals ordered removed from the United States,” Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen is quoted in the release.

Background

In May 2018, the Ghana Ambassador to the US, Dr. Baffour Adjei-Bawuah was caught in a cat and mouse game with the American authorities to sign for the deportation of over 7000 arrested persons from the US.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in the statement, ordered the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo to order embassy officers in Ghana to implement the visa restrictions on certain categories of visa applicants.

“Pursuant to her authority under Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen notified Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the Government of Ghana has denied or unreasonably delayed accepting their nationals ordered removed from the United States,” the statement said.

The American authorities further stated that Ghana risks further sanctions if the government’s posture does not change.

“Without an appropriate response from Ghana, the scope of these sanctions may be expanded to a wider population. The sanctions will remain in place until the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies Secretary Pompeo that cooperation on removals has improved to an acceptable level.”

Response by the Ghanaian Foreign Affairs Ministry

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration however in a press release noted “with concern and disappointment the decision of the US to implement visa sanctions on Ghana for alleged lack of adequate cooperation in accepting Ghanaian nationals who have been ordered to be removed from the US.”

“As is the requirement and in accordance with international law, the Ghana Embassy in Washington DC undertakes identification and verification processes to ensure that all persons earmarked for deportation to Ghana are bonafide citizens of Ghana,” the statement reads further.

The Ministry stressed that it is concerned with past instances where there have been deportations of Ghanaian and the country has had a cause to complain about the manner in which the persons have been transported back home “in belly chains and physically cuffed to their seats on the aircraft.”

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