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General News of Thursday, 3 April 2003


Anti-war campaigners demonstrate

Some 5,000 people on Wednesday staged a five-hour demonstration against the "illegal invasion" of Iraq by the United States and Britain.

The demonstrators, under anthe umbrella organisation, "Anti-War Campaign", marched in four different groups from the Kwame Nkrumah Circle at 0830 hours through the principal streets to the Parliament House, US Embassy and the British High Commission.

They finally converged at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where they presented protest letters to the Outgoing Sector Minister, Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman.

One each of the protest letters signed by Mr T. Akoto-Ampaw were for US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The third signed by Mr Kyeretwie Opoku of the NRP, was to protest against "the ambivalent position of the government of Ghana in connection with the illegal war against Iraq."

The Socialist Forum; National Reform Party, International Socialists Organisation and Association of Pan-Islamic Co-operation and members of the public took part in the demonstration.

The demonstrators carried placards, some of which read: "Stop The War"; "Bush Go Back To The Bush"; "United Snakes of America" and "Oil Not Democracy".

Others are "UN Is A Disaster"; "Bush God Will Turn You Into A Forest Not Bush"; "Hear The Words Of Kwame Nkrumah"; "The World Needs Peace" and "Stop The War In Iraq".

Mr Opoku, who presented the letter to Mr Owusu-Agyeman, said there was a growing belief that the government of Ghana had a secret arrangement with the US government to support the war in Iraq.

The protest letter to the President of Ghana said: "We of the Anti-War Campaign protest at the ambivalent position of the government of Ghana in connection with the illegal war unleashed on the Iraqi people by the United States of America and Great Britain."

It said an overwhelming number of people of the world were opposed to the war as manifested in the numerous protest marches taking place around the word.
It stated that the war had no basis in legality and international morality, and that its objective was to promote the parochial interests of the America Oil Oligopoly (small number of suppliers that control a commodity in the market place).
It reminded the government of the provisions of the Constitution under Directive Principles of State Policy. These are to promote and protect the interest of Ghana, seek the establishment of just and equitable international and social order and adhere to the principles enshrined in the charter of the United Nations and the African Union.
The letters demanded complete closure of the military and intelligence relations that Ghana currently has with the United States.
The letters to the Prime Minister of Britain and US President described the war as reckless and unjust saying it was not being fought in self-defence and called for the immediate cessation of the "Imperialists' Aggression".
It said after the Gulf War Iraq had suffered 12 years of sanctions and contained US/U.K bombing, adding that there was no evidence of Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction that the UN weapons inspection system could not deal with.
The letters said the war was likely to plunge the whole West Asia Region into chaos and that it would provoke desperate terrorist counter-attacks, which would put millions of innocent lives of US and UK citizens at risk.
Mr Owusu-Agyemang thanked the marchers for organising a matured and a peaceful demonstration and said he would personally hand over the letters to the two embassies.
He said the Ghana government had no secret agreement with any country to wage war against Iraq.
He said Ghana was sad about the invasion and the government would soon come out with a statement on the issue to protect and defend the integrity of the nation.