African News

African Immigrants Under Fire

8 October 2005 at 09:19 | 1031 views

By Abu B. Shaw, London.

African nationals in the diaspora are facing the roughest of times thanks to the number of deportation orders being meted out left, right and centre. Many have understandably come to the western world to improve their livelihood with respect and dignity. But others are breakers of law and order.

A recent case in point is the one carried out by three G8 countries where Ghanaians and Ugandans were shown the exit door. As many as 13 Africans were elbowed out of Britain, United States and Canada in the month of September alone.

Political critics are questioning the rational behind the issuance of such deportation orders by three giants of the G8 countries who were, a couple of weeks ago, championing the ‘Make Poverty History’ summit in Scotland, where they pledged to end poverty in the Third World with Africa at the top of the agenda.

UNITED KINGDOM

On 25th September, a Ugandan woman was deported to Uganda from Britain. The circumstances surrounding this unfortunate episode left many to wonder how political correctness has gone mad. The Ugandan woman, Rose Nammi, 39, was deported from the UK leaving behind her three children, Sandra, 16, Peter, 15 and Lucy, 3.

The mother was kicked out of the country forcefully. The situation was made even worse by the immigration authorities who refused the distraught woman the courtesy to even kiss her dependent children good bye before her unceremonious departure. This case is the first of its kind where a mother is being deported from the UK without her offspring.

The children’s lawyer, Mr. Usha Sood said in London: “We are not talking terrorists here. We are talking about a family divided.” Deported Nammi lost her husband following his disappearance in Uganda as soldiers of President Yoweri Museveni’s government battled with rebels of the Lord Resistance Army led by Joseph Kony.

She claimed asylum in Britain in 2001 but her application was turned down by the Home Office. Even subsequent appeals by Nammi did not make the Home Office to cave in.

Also, two other Ugandan women in Britain were facing a similar horror in early September. They ended a five week hunger strike while in detention at Yari’s Wood Removal Centre in London whilst awaiting deportation. The two women, Ms Sophie Odogo and Ms Enid Ruhango were later taken to Bedford Hospital where they were put on drip.

All the three Ugandan women, according to reports, arrived in the UK in January 2001, after they were beaten, tortured and raped.

USA, CANADA

Across the Atlantic, twelve other African nationals were deported from the United States of America and Canada. The twelve deportees are all Ghanaians. They are all males and their ages range from 24 to 59. Ten of them were deported from USA and the remaining two from Canada.

According to officials of the Narcotics Control Board NACOB, these deportees were initially imprisoned for various drug offences in Canada and the US before their deportation orders were executed. A NACOB source hinted that many more Africans are expected to face the music in a couple of weeks for drug related crimes.

Those deported from the US, most of whom have lived in the US for a very long time, include Richmond Ocloo, 59; Stephen Kwesi Adzimah, 53; Kofi Awuah, 48; Alex Opoku Acheampong, 47; Kwasi Nti, 47; Alexander Asomani Smith, 44; Zakaria M. Sani, 44; Eric Yeboah, 41; Nana Nyarko Essilfie, 25 and Fred Awuku-Goni.

Reports also confirmed that only Frank Osei Owusu and Raymond Akwasi Opoku were booted out of Canada thus sending a clear warning that the drug business is intolerable.

One of the US based deportees met a pathetic and unfortunate situation. The story of Kwasi Nti confirmed him to be a taxi driver in the US. On this fateful day, he was doing his cab rounds as usual when police arrested a passenger in his car who was in possession of drugs. Nti was eventually charged with conspiracy though he denied ever knowing the suspected passenger.

Photo: The UK’s Tony Blair.

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