North Tongu Member of Parliament (MP), Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has called for the re-opening into investigations over the killing of 44 Ghanaian immigrants in The Gambia in 2005.
Mr Ablakwa’s advocacy is necessitated by what he said were confessions by some of the soldiers who were involved in the killing.
The 44 persons were allegedly killed on July 23, 2005 by operatives of former President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh.
In a statement on the floor of Parliament in Accra yesterday to commemorate the International Human Rights Day, Mr Ablakwa said the evidence puts Ghana to secure favourable judgement for its dead compatriots.
According to him, some people who allegedly participated in the killing of the Ghanaians had confessed to have committed the crime on the orders of the former dictator at the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission put together by President Adama Barrow to heal the West African country of the deeds of Mr Jammeh’s reign.
“The order from Yahya Jammeh is that they are all to be executed,” he quoted Corporal Omar A. Jallow to have told the Commission.
“I heard people shouting in the forest saying ‘save us Jesus'” Cop. Jallow added at the Commission, Mr Ablakwa reported.
“Mr Speaker, since Ghana and The Gambia pledged to bring the actual perpetrators to justice and soldiers have confessed to murdering our constituents on the orders of Yayah Jammeh, this august House should take keen interest in this matter.
“Parliament must urge the Government of Ghana to re-open an investigation into the killings with the ultimate aim of bringing those who bear the greatest responsibility for the murder, enforced disappearance and torture of our constituents, our justice.
“The unlawful killing violates the provisions in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the Right to Life, prohibition against torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, prohibition against arbitrary arrest or detention and the right to be given an effective remedy when such rights have been violated.
“This august House should urge ECOWAS Commission and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to release the ECOWAS/UN fact-finding report into the massacre of our brothers, fathers and breadwinners, especially in the light of the confessions by the soldiers,” he advocated.
Supporting the call for fresh probe into the killings, Akyem Abuakwa MP, Samuel Atta Akyea said it would be a blot on the country if steps were not taken to seek justice for ‘our’ compatriots in the phase of the confessions.
He commended Ghana for being a champion of respecting the fundamental human right of both its citizens and foreigners.
“We have a future if we continue to respect the fundamental human rights of all persons,” he said.
In his ruling on the request, Speaker Aaron Mike Oquaye referred the statement to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for advice before the House resumed in January 2020.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI