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General News of Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Source: GNA

Mahama to move motion on Gambia murders

Accra, Feb.13, GNA - Mr. John Mahama, Chairman of West African Caucus of Pan African Parliament (PAP) on Wednesday said he would move a motion to seek justice for the 45 Ghanaians and other nationals murdered in the Gambia about two years ago when Parliament reconvened in May. "We must use every platform to seek justice for our unfortunate nationals."

He said the matter should not only end at the level of ECOWAS as the government had done but it should receive a larger platform since the Gambian government was proving intransigent.

Mr. Mahama, also MP for Bole who was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the activities of PAP said he attempted to move the motion at the last meeting of the PAP in May last year but unfortunately that could not materialize because of time factor. He explained that the PAP received a large audience, including the international media as well as the European Union Parliament which had joint working relationship with PAP.

Mr. Mahama said PAP received petitions from the people of the Niger Delta and the Ethiopian Opposition Party for Human Rights Abuses against their governments.

The people from the Niger Delta complained of losing their livelihood due to the drilling of oil in that region, while the Ethiopian Opposition complained about the incarceration of their members by their government.

He said the Parliament established sub-committees to deal with the various issues and that it had sent a delegation to Kenya to observe the election there but it had not reported back to Parliament about their observation before the flaring up of hostilities just after the December elections.

Their report would be considered jointly with the outcome of the former UN Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan's mediation report. The African Parliament was established in March 2004, by Article 17 of The Constitutive Act of the African Union. The PAP continued with its Seventh Ordinary Session in Midrand, South Africa. By the year 2009, the five year transitional lifespan of the Parliament would have expired.

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