Family members of the 44 Ghanaians who were killed in Gambia in 2015 have called on the government to make strenuous efforts to get them compensation and ensure justice prevails in the case.
According to the family members, during the incident, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was then the foreign minister, “but now that you are the president, and a visionary leader with full knowledge of the case, we have full hope that you will do all you can to get us compensation and bring the perpetrators to book”.
They made the call amid weeping and wailing at a public engagement dubbed, ‘Jammeh2Justice Ghana Campaign’, led by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) in collaboration with African Centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA), Amnesty International, Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC), Common Wealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and Media Foundation for West Africa, among others.
The public engagement was necessitated by the latest development of confessions of two Gambian soldiers at an ongoing Gambia’s Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), in Gambia, that they participated in the killing of the 44 Ghanaians and other African nationals under the alleged order of the former President, Yahyah Jammeh.
‘Jammeh2Justice Ghana Campaign’, seeks to raise awareness to gather support in the effort to bring Jammeh and those who bear responsibility for the massacre and enforced disappearance of 44 Ghanaian migrants and other nationals to justice.
The atmosphere was filled with emotions as the family members burst into tears the moment one of the survivors, Martin Kyere, mounted the podium to narrate how his colleagues were murdered.
Dr Franklin Oduro, of the CDD-Ghana, who chaired the function indicated that the laws of Ghana allow justice for the victims and “we will continue with the fight till there is justice” and urged the media to support the cause.
Mr William Nyarko, Campaign Coordinator, said, “This is the first time Ghanaians are being mobilised for a cause, there is no way Yahyah Jammeh can escape in this case.”
He said efforts were being made for Mr Jammeh to be extradited from Equatorial Guinea, where he is in exile, to face trial for justice to prevail in the matter.
Mr Nyarko hinted that investigation has begun into how the 500,000 US Dollars that the then government of Mr Jammeh offered to Ghana for the burial of the victims was utilised.
This, he pointed out, followed the fact that out of the 44 victims only eight bodies were found.
Mr Jegan Grey-Johnson, a Gambian national who is the Advocacy and Communications Coordinator, Africa Regional Office of the CDD, called on the Ghana government not to relax in the matter to ensure justice prevailed in the case.
Gambia, he said, was poised to support Ghana in its endeavour to seek justice for the victims.
He said “we now know who gave the orders and those who did the act, there is no way Ghana should not take action for its murdered citizens”, adding that Gambians are ashamed of the massacre.
Mr Gideon Neequaye of the CHRI wondered why Ghana “is not angry enough to seek justice especially with the latest revelations from the TRRC”.
He called on all Ghanaians to support the President in the endeavour to seek justice for the victims.
FROM KINGSLEY E. HOPE, KUMASI