Killing of 44 Ghanaians: Pressure Mounts On Gov’t to Bring Jammeh to Book  

Justice Emily Short and other dignitaries addressing families of the victims at a symposium in Accra

Accra, Ghana, December 10, 2019//-The families of the 44 Ghanaians who were killed in The Gambia, survivors and civil society organizations are piling pressure on the Akufo-Addo-led government to bring Yahya Jammeh, the former Gambian President to book.

Speaking at the symposium organised by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) and the Civil Society Coalition on the Jammeh2Justice campaign in Ghana to mark International Human Rights Day in Accra today , a former Ghanaian judge, Justice Emily Short called on Ghanaians to continue put pressure on the government to act on the matter.

“We will continue to advocate until justice is served. We are therefore hoping that the government of Ghana will use all legal measures to ensure that Yahya Jammeh is tried for the murder of the 44 Ghanaians”.

To this end, Justice Short urged the Ghanaian government to initiate and expedite the extradition action to ensure that justice was served to bring finality to the incident.

“Steps should be taken immediately by the government to bring Yahya Jammeh to Ghana for trial over the murder”.

 The campaigners, families and survivors also lamented at the slow pace of work towards the extradition and prosecution of Mr Jammeh in Ghana or in part of the world.

They were not impressive so far with the effort made the Ghanaian government in seeking justice for the victims.

According to them, 14 years into the gruesome killing of the 44 Ghanaians, present and successive governments have shown little effort at bringing Mr Jammeh who is in exile in the Equatorial Guinea, to book.

Families and survivors said: “Since the incident, we have been struggling to take care of the families left behind by the 44 murdered Ghanaians”.

On his part, the Coordinator of the Jammeh2Justice Ghana Campaign and Executive Director of Africa Center for International Law and Accountability (ACILA), William Nyarko, said: “We are networking domestically and internationally to close the gap on Jammeh”.

He revealed that through their investigation, four other survivors were discovered in Spain, Senegal, Ghana and Germany.

“We are also going to air a document on our investigation to five countries. It is going to blow your minds”, Mr Nyarko told participants at the event.

On his part, Emmanuel Joof, a Gambian lawyer and the Chairman of the newly set up National Human Rights Commission of The Gambia, called on the Ghanaian government to compel its colleague Gambian government to reopen the case of the murder of the 44 Ghanaians for justice.

A Programme Officer of Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Muheeb Saeed, said the best way to express condolences to the families of the victims is to ensure that justice is done.

This is why we are urging the Ghanaian government to bring Yahya Jammeh to Ghana for justice, he said.

Setting the preamble for the conference, Jammeh2Justice Project Manager, Regina Oforiwa Amanfo said that in pursuit of justice for the 44 Ghanaians who were killed in the Gambia in 2005.

This event was taking place one year after the CSO Coalition launched a campaign for justice for victims of the 2005 massacre and enforced disappearance.

Following the launch of the campaign on May 16, 2018, Government responded by saying, among other things, that it is studying the request by the victims’ families and the CSO Coalition to investigate and bring those who bear the greatest responsibility for the massacre and enforced disappearance of the 44 Ghanaians to justice.

The CSO Coalition, whose members include CDD-Ghana, MFWA, ACILA), Amnesty International, Human Rights Advocacy Center (HRAC), POS Foundation, and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), have been working hard to seek justice for the victims.

By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, African Eye Report


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