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Monday, April 15, 2024
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Families of Ghanaians murdered in Gambia in ‘darkness’ over reparations

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By Amadou Jadama

Oduro Mensah Emmanuel Gerson, brother of a Ghanaian victim who was murdered in The Gambia in 2005, has decried what he calls “lack of communication” between victims, the Ghanaian and the Gambian government regarding reparations, closure and access to justice since the submission of the truth commission’s report.

Mensah made these concerns during a public lecture on transitional justice focusing on enforced disappearances organised by the Women Association for Victims Empowerment WAVE, African Network Against Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances (ANEKED), African Centre for Legal Research and Training and Ministry of Justice post TRRC Unit.

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He said the truth commission has offered opportunities for victims and families to present their case but they have not been told about any developments regarding the commission’s recommendations on reparations, exhumations and prosecution of persons responsible for the crimes.

“According to the whitepaper, reparations will be made through our government. Since after the commission, we have addressed several letters to the Ghana government about our fate but there is no response as we speak. We have not had any calls or notification from anyone. We are in darkness. We are not hearing anything from the Gambia government too. We have written to them to recommend that they set up a joint committee to oversee reparations for Ghanaian victims to avoid what happened in the past. We provided our phone numbers but no actions. We want the Gambia government to know that we are still following the case and we are unhappy with the way we are being treated. Nothing comes to us” Mensah decried.

He said the victims are also in limbo over the non-implementation of the commission’s recommendation for the establishment of a committee that would work on exhumation and identification of slain victims for their families to offer them proper burials.

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Mensah said many victims including his own brother have left behind young dependents who are facing dire straits to make living.

“We are demanding the government to make sure our reparations are paid. We also need justice. It was stated in the report that the former president will be prosecuted. We welcome that stance. And we are happy with the recent prosecution of one of the men responsible for this killing in Germany. But we will be happier when Jammeh is brought before the courts,” he said.

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