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Friday, October 7, 2022

Families of massacred migrants demand remains for proper burial

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By Omar Bah

The families of more than 50 Ghanaian and other West African migrants killed in Gambia have called on the Gambia government to hand over the remains of their loved ones for proper burials.

In 2005, at least 56 West African migrants were murdered in The Gambia on the orders of Jammeh.

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A Nigerian man, whose brother was among the victims, Kehinde Enagameh, has called on the government to locate the remains of his brother for proper burial. 

Mr Kehinde’s younger brother, Paul Omozemoje Enagameh, then 28, went missing in 2005 while seeking to migrate to Europe. The family later learned that he was one of nine Nigerians killed in the massacre, according to a 2008 report by the Nigerian High Commission in The Gambia. But most of the other Nigerian victims have not been identified.

“Please on behalf of the victims of Jammeh’s murderous regime, we are asking for justice. We need a closure to this issue. We need to know where my brother was buried so that we can repatriate his remains back to Nigeria and give him a befitting burial. That is all we are asking for and I appeal to President Barrow to help us fulfil our dream. We trust him so much and I hope he will not disappoint us,” Kehinde said.

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Compensation

He said the Gambia government should take it as a matter of urgency to make sure that the victims’ families are adequately compensated, though “no amount of compensation will bring back our loved ones”.

Oduro Mensah, also a brother to one of the Ghanaian victims, said his family is yearning to see Jammeh and all those who participated in the killing in court.

“And we also want to get the remains of our loved ones back for proper burial. We appeal to the government to facilitate this for us. We are also calling on all other African presidents to come out from their hideouts and put pressure on Equatorial Guinea to release Jammeh,” he said.

The sole survivor of the 2005 massacre, Martin Kyere, said the government White Paper will be meaningless without its full implementation.

“We have seen white papers in Ghana before but they later turned to black papers because they were never implemented,” he said.

Kyere said the Ghanaian parliamentary committee on foreign affairs has met the Ghana Jammeh2Justice movement to sound their opinion on the outcomes of the Gambia government White Paper.

“We will continue to mount pressure on our government to give us justice,” he said. 

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