Police in Ghana arrested protesters and journalists during demonstrations against the country’s economic crisis and soaring cost of living on Thursday.
The Protests: Activists accused the police of arresting and mistreating peaceful demonstrators and bystanders outside the country’s main government building.
* Hundreds gathered near Ghana’s presidential palace where 49 were arrested for “disregarding a court process,” according to police.
* Detained journalists from BBC were later released.
* Critics argue the arrests were a violation of democratic rights and heavily criticize the response by security forces to the increasing protests.
Government Response: President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government has attributed the country’s financial problems to the pandemic and global economic factors such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
* The President, who once served as a human rights lawyer and participated in protests prior to his 2016 presidency, has been criticized for his handling of the situation.
* Many Ghanaians blame the government for economic mismanagement and unpopular, expensive projects like a new national cathedral costing over $400 million.
Economic Context: Ghana, once hailed as a model African economy, has been experiencing a deepening financial crisis and increasing cost of living for the past five years.
* Protests sparked by these hardships have been growing in frequency over the past two years.
* In May, Ghana signed its 17th bailout loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund, worth $3 billion.
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