Ranking Member on Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has revealed that the demolition of the Bulgarian embassy in Accra is a blot on the country’s diplomatic credentials.
According to him, the NDC caucus in parliament will demand a full parliamentary probe into the demolition of the embassy. Mr Ablakwa noted that the alarming culture of impunity which has accounted for the destruction of properties at the Bulgarian embassy must not be allowed to fester.
Contained in a Facebook post made today, March 15, 2022, Mr Ablakwa recounted also the similar “brazen” demolition of a Nigerian diplomatic property in the country. He intimated that the demolition of that property “predictably strained” Ghana’s bilateral relations with Nigeria, triggering a war of words and bringing both parties to the brink of conflict.
Following a de-escalation, the North Tongu legislator indicated that the Ghanaian taxpayer, is now bearing the brunt of the action by spending millions of cedis to restore the Nigerian diplomatic facility as adequate compensation.
“Now, in an even more shocking, exceedingly lawless, provocative and mafia-style operation — the Bulgarian Embassy in Accra at Kakramadu Road, Plot No. 10, East Cantonments has been completely razed to the ground. According to eye witnesses, the armed rogue elements with extra fortification from deviant land guards and errant personnel allegedly from the Cantonments Police Station had the sheer effrontery in broad day light to evict Bulgarian Embassy staff, throw out inviolable assets belonging to the Bulgarians and assault the Honorary Consul, Mr. Nicolaas C.M. van Staalduinen in his effort to restrain them”.Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Mr Ablakwa revealed that valuables including generators, computers, printers, refrigerators, archival documents which represent a “treasure trove of deep historical bonds” and a stash of vital diplomatic exchanges were not spared by the encroachers. He intimated that the persons involved in the destruction of the embassy subsequently returned at dawn to demolish the entire Embassy.
“The perpetrators are now building their own structure with the speed of light, at day and night, to conclude their nefarious mission”.Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Describing the demolition of the embassy as a “mindless attack”, Mr Ablakwa noted that the action by the perpetrators is usually considered a declaration of war. With this, he expressed that the country’s conduct amounts to a “grotesque” violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961.
Among other things, he stated that the conventions provides that the premises of the mission shall be inviolable. As such, the agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.
“The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity. The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution”.Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
The North Tongu legislator asserted that owing to some credible and verified information available to him, it points to the fact that all these “grave violations” have been possible because of a “powerful man” behind the invasion, demolishing, construction and purported takeover. Following this, Mr Ablakwa noted that he shall have the person involved “exposed” in due course. He further advised that those who consider themselves strategic allies of the Akufo-Addo presidency must “reflect deeply on how their conduct will impact on the long term legacy of their most-favoured government”.
Foreign Affairs Ministry and Lands Commission is helpless
Mr Ablakwa revealed that the Foreign Affairs ministry and the Lands Commission have been helpless in the matter. He noted that it is embarrassing to hear comments about the despicable scandal in “diplomatic corridors” and another blatant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961. This, he insisted, is casting a slur on the country’s hard won image in the “comity” of nations.
“Documents I have reviewed and some of which I would attach to this publication reveal how helpless the Foreign Ministry and the Lands Commission appear to be in this matter even after they have confirmed with incontrovertible evidence that the Bulgarians have a valid lease for a term of 50 years since 1983”.Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Mr Ablakwa emphasized that the NDC caucus in Parliament will not accept this misconduct and neither are they going to allow the “criminal masterminds” to get away with this.
Following this, he commended the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor for pledging to take positive steps to halt the construction at the Bulgarian Embassy premises during an engagement with him.