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General News of Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Source: The Chronicle

Jammeh stole $500k pension funds to pay compensation to Ghana

A coalition of Civil Society (CSOs) fighting the injustice meted out to some Ghanaians in the Gambia says fresh evidence indicates that former President Yahya Jammeh stole pension funds to settle Ghana in a dispute over the killing of 44 Ghanaians.

According to the AfRO African Regional Advocacy and Communication Coordinator and member of the Coalition, Jeggan Grey-Johnson, it emerged at The Gambia Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) investigating human violations under the Yahya Jammeh regime that the former Head of State illegally took $500,000 to pay the Government of Ghana.

Yahya Jammeh had been accused of ordering the massacre of more than 44 Ghanaians, together with other West African nationals.

The $500,000 was, therefore, meant for the final burial of the Ghanaians and killed by The Gambia juggers, on the orders of President Jammeh in 2005.

The sole survivor of the massacre, Martin Kyere, has on a number of occasions raised doubts about the exhumed bodies, due to the petrification they generated four years after their burial.

Kyere also claimed no DNA rest was ran on them in a documentary that was premiered in Accra recently.

Martin told The Chronicle that like the families of his colleague, he received just GHc10,00 from the $500,000 compensation.

Although Jammeh is quietly cooling off in Equatorial Guinea after his overwhelming 2016 electoral defeat, posterity and the law of karma are demanding justice for the lives he took away.

As a result, seven CSOs – Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability, Media Foundation for West Africa, The Protector of Sentiments Foundation (PoS), HRAC, Amnesty International Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) – have formed a coalition by name ‘Jammeh to Justice’ to fight for justice of the families of the disappeared Ghanaians.

Dr. Kojo Asante, Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement, CDD-Ghana, speaking at the premiering of the documentary, “The Massacre of Ghanaians in The Gambia: Justice in limbo,” called for legal action against Yahya Jammeh.

According to him, Jammeh must be brought to justice because he did not cooperate with the high-powered delegation sent to his country to investigate the matter.



Also, in 2019, a UN/ECOWAS team, which was tasked to conduct investigations into the murder, concluded that The Gambian government was not directly or indirectly complicit in the death and disappearance of the West Africans, but rather root elements in The Gambia security service was responsible.

However, new evidence developed by Human Rights Watch and Trial International, through interviews with more than two dozen former officials of The Gambian security forces, including officers directly involved in the incident, revealed that the jugglers, a notorious paramilitary unit, executed the migrants over seven days in various locations in The Gambia and neighbouring Senegal.

Yahya Jammeh, though out of office, victims of his 22-year rule have joined forces with National and international non-governmental organisations to demand accountability for the crime of his regime.

Dr Asante said the victims are adopting a model that was used to bring formal charges against the Chad dictator in Senegal in October 2017.

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