By Omar Bah
The Jammeh2Justice Coalition (J2J Ghana) has called on the government of Ghana to immediately initiate discussions with the Gambia government to pay the promised compensation to the families of West African migrants.
The West African migrants, including more than 44 Ghanaians, were unlawfully killed in The Gambia in 2005.
Following the findings by the Gambia Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) that ex-president Yahya Jammeh and 12 others under his command and control were responsible for the unlawful killing, torture, and enforced disappearances of over 50 West African migrants, the Gambia government on May 25, 2022, accepted the recommendations of the TRRC to pay a sum of D32 million ($600,000) as compensation to the victims of the 2005 massacre.
These reparations payments were directed to be paid as soon as possible through the respective governments of the countries of origin of the victims.
Since the release of the White Paper, the J2J Ghana Coalition, the victims’ families, and survivors expected the government of Ghana, which is mandated to receive the money for onward payment, to contact the victims’ families and survivors, and publicly provide information about the steps it is taking to ensure the Gambian government pays the reparations to them.
Regrettably, according to J2J, no such contact has been made, and action has not been taken.
“In this regard, we urge the government of Ghana to, as a matter of urgency, contact the victims’ families and survivors. The J2J Ghana Coalition, which has remained in contact with the victims’ families and survivors, is ready to assist the government in such an engagement. We also reiterate our earlier call that the compensation amount of about $600,000 for 67 victims promised by the Gambian government is woefully inadequate and that the said amount, if paid, should be considered as a first payment towards the payment of additional and adequate compensation to the victims’ families and survivors,” the group added. The J2J Ghana encouraged the Ghana government to consider further negotiations with the government of the Gambia to secure additional and adequate financial support for the survivors and victims.