Two Canadian women have been rescued after being abducted in Ghana earlier this month.
According to Ghana’s Information Ministry, the operation to rescue the girls was completed early on Wednesday in the south-central Ashanti region, located in the central belt of the African country. No other details were immediately available.
The Canadian government stated in an email to CBC on Wednesday that it’s “very relieved to confirm” the news of the rescue.
The women, aged 19 and 20, were abducted at the Kumasi Royal Golf Club on June 4 around 8:25 pm GMT.
Police say the women were volunteers with Youth Challenge International, a non-profit organization focused mainly on international development issues.
In a news release on Wednesday, Youth Challenge Internation stated that “Bailey and Lauren are receiving emotional and psychological support from professionals as they travel home,” and that “medical reports are that they are both physically unhurt. At this time we are unable to comment on the police actions, the rescue or the perpetrators of the abduction.”
Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Guillaume Berube stated in an email that due to provisions of the Privacy Act, and “out of respect to these two Canadians who have been through harrowing experiences,” no further information would be disclosed. Global Affairs Canada also said consular officials are providing assistance to the two women, as well as their families.
According to freelance journalist Francisca Forson, two people have been arrested and the Information Ministry will be holding a news conference at 3 pm GMT to provide more information about the rescue operation.
The Information Ministry has also assured travellers that Ghana remains safe, despite a rise in kidnappings for ransom.
This incident marks the second time in only a month’s time that foreigners were targeted in Kumasi. An Indian national was also abducted and rescued.
Nana Afuko-Addo, Ghana’s president, has pledged to crack down on kidnappers amid fears that the upswing in abductions could harm their tourism industry.
Forson also stated that the Ghana Tourism Authority that regulates tourism has shut down the hostel where the two Canadian women were staying, following some inspections.
Forson said “they were operating without a licence, and they shut that down, and they also issued a warning that they would be tougher with other hostels or hotels where foreigners are lodged. So there are efforts on the part of the authorities to ensure that foreigners do not feel unsafe and are able to come here.”