Ghanaians worried by rising number of kidnappings

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Ghanaians worried by rising number of kidnappings

Deutsche Welle

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The two young Canadian women who have been freed from the hands of kidnappers were seized at a golf course in the city of Kumasi. According to security service sources, the aim had probably been to hold them until a ransom was paid.

The two women worked for Youth Challenge International, a Canadian organization that sends young people to work on development projects in Africa, Asia and South America.

Ghana is considered to be one of the most secure countries in West Africa but the number of kidnappings has risen sharply in recent months, causing a wave of anxiety among foreigners in the country as well as among local residents.

Almost 70 kidnapping cases were recorded in 2018. In April this year, a 30-year-old Indian man was kidnapped in Kumasi by men who demanded a $500,000 (€442,000) ransom. An Estonian diplomat was seized in the capital Accra during his regular morning walk. Shortly afterwards he was freed by the Special Weapons and Ammunition Tactics (SWAT) Unit of the Accra Regional Police Command who stormed the house where he was being held.

The whereabouts of three Ghanaian girls kidnapped in the west of the country several months ago are still unknown.

President promises action

In an an attempt to allay people’s fears, President Nana Akufo-Addo emphasized his government’s determination to put an end to the kidnappers’ activities. Describing kidnapping as a new phenomenon in Ghana, he said: “We need to do something about it to make sure this does not become a feature of our society. Decisions are being taken that will clearly manifest the determination I have to deal with this matter.”

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