Two Canadian students on an exchange program at the Kumasi Technical University in Ghana were abducted on Monday, Global Affairs Canada confirmed yesterday. Although the Canadian government has not yet provided details about the two Canadians kidnapped in Ghana, including the gender or ages of the victims, local media has reported that the victims are two women. The women were allegedly kidnapped in Kumasi, the West African country's second largest city and the capital of the Ashanti region, which is approximately 250 kilometres inland from the country's capital city of Accra.
Local news outlet 3news reported that the two students were abducted at approximately 8:00 PM local time on Monday, just after they had exited their apartment. Canadian officials are currently providing assistance to the victims' families.
Global Affairs spokesman Guillaume Bérubé told The National Post, "The Government of Canada’s first priority is always the safety and security of its citizens. For this reason, we will not comment on or release any information which may compromise ongoing efforts or endanger the safety of Canadians."
He also explained in an email to The National Post that due to the Privacy Act, no further information could be provided at this time. When reporters tried phoning the Ghana Police Service's press telephone number, they were told, "we don't have any information right now." The National Post also reached out to Kumasi Technical University for a comment, but have not yet received a response.
On Wednesday evening, Ghanaian high commissioner Joseph Ayikoi Otoo told The National Post in a statement that after speaking with the director general of police in Ghana, he learned that officers are currently searching for the vehicle used in the abduction. Ghanaian officials refused to provide further detail about the kidnapping.
A number of foreigner kidnappings have recently taken place in the West African country. An Indian businessman was abducted at gunpoint for ransom in Kumasi back in April. Prior to that, an Estonian consular-general was kidnapped while he was out on his morning walk.
According to local media reports, both men were either rescued by police or escaped. Three local girls who vanished between August 2018 and January 2019, however, remain missing.
Last month, President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo pledged to crack down on those responsible for the series of abductions, stating, "We are all concerned about this phenomenon of kidnappings which we have not known. I am very, very determined on the issue and decisions are being taken as we seek what will be a clear manifestation of the determination I have to deal with this matter."