Two Canadian women kidnapped from golf club in Ghana

Royal Golf Club in Kumasi from where two Canadian women were kidnapped. (Screengrab YouTube)
Updated 06 June 2019

Two Canadian women kidnapped from golf club in Ghana

  • The Canadians, charity volunteers aged 19 and 20, were taken on Tuesday evening from a golf course in Kumasi, Ghana’s second city
  • They women are volunteers with Youth Challenge International, a Canadian international development organization with its headquarters in Toronto

ACCRA: Two Canadian women have been abducted in Ghana, police said Thursday, a rare attack in a country seen as one of the most secure in the West African region.
The Canadians, charity volunteers aged 19 and 20, were taken on Tuesday evening in Kumasi, Ghana’s second city, some 200 kilometers (125 miles) northwest of the capital Accra, David Eklu, Assistant Commissioner of Police said in a statement.
“Police Command is investigating a complaint of kidnapping at Ahodwo, Royal Golf Club Kumasi, at 8:25 p.m. on 4 June, 2019, where two women of Canadian nationality were kidnapped,” Eklu said.
“Investigation started immediately upon receipt of the complaint, and the security agencies are working closely together to get them rescued, and the perpetrators arrested,” he added.
Police did not release the names of the women.
But they said they are volunteers with a group Youth Challenge International, a Canadian international development organization with its headquarters in Toronto.
The group works in 16 countries across South America, Africa and Asia, working to support development projects for young people in areas such as health, education and employment.
“The general public is urged to assist the police by volunteering information,” Eklu added.
Security sources suggested this was a kidnapping for ransom.
Kidnappings and violent crime toward to foreigners are rare in Ghana.
But earlier this year, local media quoted President Nana Akufo-Addo as warning that action must be taken to make sure kidnapping “doesn’t become a feature of our society.”
In April, an Indian man was reportedly abducted, also in Kumasi, by an armed gang demanding a cash ransom. He was swiftly rescued by police.
Tourism is an important industry for Ghana, and Kumasi, the historic capital of the Ashanti kingdom, is a favorite destination.
Ghana is a country of some 30 million people, where more than two-thirds of people follow Christianity and the rest Islam and other religions.
It has long been seen as a bulwark of stability in a region struggling to contain multiple groups of Islamist fighters.
Akufo-Addo, speaking on Wednesday to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al Fitr, called on the Ghanaian people to protect religious tolerance.
“We are the envy of the world when it comes to the peaceful co-existence of different religious communities,” Akufo-Addo said in a speech, according to the presidency.
He also urged people to “report suspicious characters” to the police.
“We cannot surrender this beautiful way of life for anything, and, certainly, not to people who seek to pervert religious beliefs,” Akufo-Addi added.


UN adopts new voting procedure during COVID-19 pandemic

Updated 11 min 25 sec ago

UN adopts new voting procedure during COVID-19 pandemic

  • Ambassadors from the 193 U.N. member nations will cast secret ballots at a designated venue during spaced-out time slots
  • The Security Council has five permanent members — the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — and 10 elected members

UNITED NATIONS: The U.N. General Assembly adopted a new voting procedure Friday for the upcoming election of new members of the Security Council aimed at preventing a large gathering and ensuring social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of meeting in the horseshoe-shaped assembly chamber at U.N. headquarters overlooking New York’s East River, ambassadors from the 193 U.N. member nations will cast secret ballots at a designated venue during spaced-out time slots.
And they will be voting not only for five non-permanent members of the Security Council to serve two-year terms but for 18 new members of the 54-nation Economic and Social Council to serve three-year terms.
According to the new procedure, the president of the General Assembly will send a letter to all member states at least 10 working days before the first round of secret balloting for the two elections to inform them of the date, venue where ballots should be cast, and other relevant information.
The Security Council election had been scheduled for June 17, but it’s unclear whether that will remain the date.
The Security Council has five permanent members — the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — and 10 members elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. Five countries are elected every year.
The council is the U.N.’s most powerful body and winning a seat is a pinnacle of achievement for many countries because it gives them a strong voice on issues of international peace and security ranging from conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Ukraine to the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and Iran, and attacks by extremist groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaida.
This year seven countries are vying for five seats, and there are two hotly contested races.
In the group of Western nation, Canada, Ireland and Norway are battling for two seats, and in Africa, Kenya and Djibouti are competing for one seat. India is running unopposed for the Asia-Pacific seat and Mexico is running unopposed for the seat for Latin America and the Caribbean.