The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday that they will begin immediately, the process of getting Ghanaian Hassan Kennedy, also known as Hassan Ali Hassan, back to his homeland.
Kennedy’s plight of being stranded here in St Vincent for over 25 years was highlighted in SEARCHLIGHT’s editions of Friday, June 14, 2019 and Tuesday, August 13, 2019.
On Tuesday morning, Director of Foreign Policy and Research in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mozart Carr said he first learnt about Kennedy’s predicament this past Tuesday after which he made inquiries at the Ministry’s protocol department.
“I will assure you that we would work on it. We have good relations with the Ghanaian embassy…so we would commence the process of repatriation with the Ghanaian embassy,” Carr told SEARCHLIGHT.
He revealed that on three separate occasions, the Ghanaian embassy has sent a consular officer to SVG to assist with the repatriation of their nationals.
“So, we will do an investigation with the Ministry of Health and the Immigration Department and follow up with the Ghanaian embassy,” Carr promised.
Meanwhile, Kennedy is still a patient at the Mental Health Centre (MHC) at Glen. It is said that he was a stowaway on a vessel that docked here about 25 years ago, but according to Grenadian Ayyub Abdullah, Kennedy and two other men who were on the vessel were left behind after a dispute over wages. Abdullah first met Kennedy in 1992 during a visit to SVG.
After being stranded here, Kennedy lost contact with his family members and has remained here as he is unable to make the necessary arrangements and afford an airline ticket that will see him repatriated. His ordeal is said to have caused him to become mentally unstable and he has been housed at the MHC for some time now.
When Kennedy’s story broke, SEARCHLIGHT was able to contact by WhatsApp, Kennedy’s brother Ghanaian Nuhu Iddrisu, who said the family believed that Kennedy had died and when they heard from him after so long, they were happy.
Kennedy’s plight was also made known to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves during the visit of Ghanaian President Akufo-Addo back in June. Gonsalves had promised to look into the matter.