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General News of Thursday, 19 March 2020

Source: The Chronicle

Families of murdered Ghanaians petition The Gambia

The families of Ghanaians who were murdered in The Gambian 2005 have filed submissions to The Gambia Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC).

They are demanding that Yahya Jammeh and ‘Junglers’ who allegedly perpetrated the atrocity against the deceased Ghanaians, must be brought to justice and compensation paid to the families and survivors.

Their demands were contained in separate affidavits filed and notarised in Ghana and dispatched to the TRRC in The Gambia yesterday, in which the families of the victims recounted the torture they had been going through since they became aware of the unlawful killing and enforced disappearances of their family members in 2005.

It comes after three members of the ‘Junglers’ testified before the TRRC that they participated in the killing of the Ghanaians and other West African migrants on the orders of Yahya Jammeh.

Following the testimonies of the Junglers, the Jammeh2Justice Ghana Coalition (J2J Ghana), a CSO Coalition led by CDD-Ghana, wrote to the TRRC arguing that the survivors and victims’ families qualified as victims within the meaning of the TRRC Act, 2017, and, therefore, requested that the Ghanaian families and survivors be allowed to testify, to which the TRRC agreed.

The families of the victims, who were assisted to file their affidavits by J2J Ghana, said the unlawful killing od their family members who were the breadwinners had led to significant loss of income to their families since 2005, hence their request to the TRRC to recommend adequate compensation to be paid to them.

Lead Counsel for the Ghanaian victims, Nii Kwei Amasah, explained that once the TRRC sets a date for the victims to appear before the TRRC, he will lead the survivors and representatives of the victims’ families to testify it in The Gambia.

“We commend the TRRC for the opportunity given our clients to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice and to compensate the survivors and dependents of the murdered Ghanaians in The Gambia. We will cooperate fully with the TRRC to bring finality to this matter,” lawyer Amasah said.

J2j Ghana coordinator William Nyarko said the submission of the affidavits to the TRRC was an important step towards ensuring the participation of the survivors and victims’ families in the proceedings of the ongoing TRRC, with the ultimate purpose of securing justice and reparations to the victim.

The Programme Officer of J2J Ghana, Regina Oforiwaa Amanfo, explained that the affidavit evidence of 17 out of the approximately 53 Ghanaian victims had been sent to the TRRC with a cover letter that K2K Ghana is still locating and contacting victims, and would send more of the affidavit evidence as and when they are filed.

“We have scheduled March 31, 2020, as the closing date for receipt of the affidavit evidence for dispatch to the TRRC,” she said, but added that the victims could also file and send their affidavit evidence directly to the TRRC”.

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