Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ghana: ICJ Suit Over Gambia Killings

Flag of Ghana
Flag of Ghana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A Ghanaian International Human Rights Activist has filed a law suit at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Ghana’s former president John Kufour and opposition leader Nana Akuffo-Addo over the killing of Ghanaians in The Gambia in July 2005.
Anthony Kwabena Abebrese Rau filed the suit against John Agyekum Kufuor, Ghana’s main opposition National Patriotic Party flagbearer Nana Akuffo-Addo, who he accuses of being complicit in the murder of the Ghanaian nationals, local media reports.

Mr Rau also told local media in Accra that Gambia’s sitting President Yahya Jammeh is also being investigated over the same issue.

“Mr. Rau was furious that the erstwhile New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration led by President Kufuor and Nana Akufo- Addo as Foreign Affairs Minister did little to uncover the truth behind the murder of the Ghanaians,” ASN quoted its Ghanaian contributor as saying.

Ex-President Kufuor and Nana Akufo-Addo (photo credit: Joy Online)
“My investigations into the murder of some 44 Ghanaians in the Gambia in July 2005 have revealed that the total number of people murdered were 80,” claims activist Rau, who added that 72 of the deaths were Ghanaians.

In his argument, Rau said “the murdered Ghanaians who were travelling to Spain through the Gambia to seek greener pastures, were arrested on 22nd July 2005 by the Gambian security personnel on suspicion that they were mercenaries”.

Ghanaian courts, according to the Human Rights Activist, are investigating the matter now.
“The courts have also started their investigation telling me that they have also heard the same thing so now they are investigating Yahya Jammeh, Kufuor and Nana Addo. So please I am here to let Ghanaians know that if you are real and a good human rights activist you don’t have to be afraid to bring a sitting president to court,” media reports quoted Rau as saying.

He further stated that he has dragged the three to court because they failed to fight the cause of the Ghanaians who were troubled in Gambia. 

“It is possible that anyone who is a president can be dragged to court,” he said.

Gambia's President Jammeh (photo credit: Wikipedia)
$500K Compensation

The bodies of eight West African nationals believed to Ghanaians were discovered in the Tanji Forest around Ghana Town in 2005, local media reported.

 At the height of diplomatic tensions between Accra and Banjul over the issue – Ghana said 44 of her nationals were killed in Gambia in mysterious circumstances while Gambia maintains that only eight bodies were found.

Six bodies were exhumed and repatriated to Ghana and the Gambia Government also gave half a million dollars ($500K) as compensation to the families of the victims in what it said was according to “African traditional rites”.

Written by Modou S. Joof

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