20.03.2004 General News

Ghana Navy ships not allowed berthing at Malabo Port

20.03.2004 LISTEN

From Ken Sackey, GNA Special Correspondent, Malabo

Malabo, March 20, GNA - Two Ghana Navy ships - GNS Anzone and GNS Bonsu - dispatched by President John Agyekum Kufuor to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea to evacuate Ghanaians stranded in that country were not allowed berthing at the Malabo Port.

They had to anchor off the coast of that country for the evacuees to be ferried into them by boats.

Both vessels left Accra, Ghana on Tuesday, March 16 and took about three and half days to reach Malabo.

On arrival on Friday morning, an Equatorial Guinea Navy boat approached the Ghana Navy vessels and told the officials that they could not berth.

The Captain of GNS ANZONE, the Flagship of the Ghana Navy, Naval Captain Godson Zowonoo then contacted the Ghanaian Consular in Equatorial Guinea, Mr Dominic Aboagye, who said the Ghanaians would be brought to the ships.

Personnel on both vessels, including Journalists, Health Workers and personnel from the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) were not allowed to disembark.

Four hundred and twenty seven Ghanaians, and nationals of Nigeria, Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso were brought on board.

The evacuation became necessary when the security agencies in that country started attacking foreign nationals, who they claimed did not have the relevant documents, after an alleged attempted coup d'etat. None of the Ghanaians appeared to be in ill health except for minor cases of headaches, stomachaches and nausea.

The Consular General, who later came on board the GNS ANZONE, told the Media that all Ghanaians, who wanted to leave that country, had been evacuated.

Most of the Ghanaians the GNA spoke to alleged that they were brutalised by that country's Police who also tore their passports and other documents.

They also alleged that their properties were looted. There were 16 women and 12 children are among those brought on board the vessels.

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