IRB – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (Author)
Information specific to the Presidential Escort Unit could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, this information may be useful.
According to a News In Ghana report, the new government of the NPP, which replaced the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government on 7 January 2001 (Africa Confidential 4 May 2001), withdrew 25 soldiers of the 64 Infantry Regiment who had been guarding former president Jerry Rawlings for "a very long time," and returned them to the barracks (22 May 2001). Replacing them with police personnel, Rawlings allegedly protested against the withdrawal of these bodyguards and complained that he "had been stripped naked with the removal of the soldiers" (ibid.).
According to information posted on the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Website, on 21 September 2001, four of the ex-president's bodyguards, Anyanu, Budu, Kuntor and Adotey, "all retired from the Ghana Armed Forces, were arrested and detained for allegedly being in possession of unlicensed weapons. A charge that turned out to be false" (25 Sept. 2001).
The NDC further alleges that in October 2001, the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) illegally re-arrested the personal bodyguard of ex-president Rawlings, Samuel Mensah (17 Oct. 2001). "Prior to the arrest and detention, Mr. Mensah's residence had been raided, entered and searched by the BNI without a warrant. Mr. Mensah was released on 18th 2001 without any charges being preferred against him" (ibid.). The NDC reported another incident in which a retired Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1), Patrick Kuntor also a former personal bodyguard of the ex-president, was attacked by "17 armed men at his residence at Haatso, a suburb of Accra" (ibid. 23 October 2001). Following this incident, the ex-president's office asked the Inspector General of Police to licence all the bodyguards to "protect themselves and the ex-President in attacks such as the one visited on Kuntor" (Public Agenda 5 Nov. 2001). The request was rejected (ibid). The head of the Police Public Relations Directorate said that "any former office holder who needed license to use a weapon would need to go through the normal procedure and apply to the police" (ibid.)
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Africa Confidential [London]. 4
May 2001. Vol. 42. No. 9. "Ghana: A Hundred Days of Kufour."
National Democratic Congress (NDC). N.d.
"Breaking News." http://www.nedc.org.gh/breakingnews.html
[Accessed: 12 December 2001]
_____. N.d. "NDC Press Conference of 25
September, 2001." http://www.nedc.org.gh/NDC%20Press%20Conference.htm
[Accessed:12 December 2001]
News In Ghana. 22 May 2001.
"Rawlings Rejects Police Bodyguards." http://www.newinghana.com/news/archive/rawlings-rejects.htm[Accessed:
12 December 2001]
Public Agenda [Accra]. 5
November 2001. "IGP Snubs Rawlings "We Won't Reutrn Arms to Your
12 December 2001]
Additional Sources Consulted
Africa Research Bulletin.
IRB Databases. LEXIS/NEXIS.
Internet sites including:
All Africa News
Human Rights Watch
Search engines including: