A former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Emile Short, is backing calls by civil society organisations urging the government to push for the payment of compensation to families of the over 44 Ghanaians killed in the Gambia in 2005.
The Gambian government, on May 25, 2022, accepted the recommendations of the country’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) to pay about US$600, 000 as compensation to the victims
This comes after ex-president Yahya Jammeh and 12 others were found to be responsible for the unlawful killing, torture and enforced disappearances of the over 50 West African migrants.
In an interview on Asaase Radio yesterday, the former CHRAJ boss said the call by the coalition is justified.
“It is extremely important for the Ghana government to take steps to recover these monies and contact the families of the victims and any survivors so that they can be compensated. It has been a long struggle for the families of the victims to get any compensation.
“Now that the Gambian government has accepted the findings of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) that former President Jammeh and 12 others are responsible for the killing, I think that the least that the government should do is to take immediate steps to receive from the Gambian government the amount which the government have agreed to pay,” he said.
Mr Short pointed out that at least 44 Ghanaians were involved, and it is extremely important that the “government takes steps to recover the compensation of the families of the victims and any survivors”.
Silence of gov’t
The Jammeh2Justice Ghana Coalition, led by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), in a statement, said it is disappointed in the seeming silence of the state in retrieving the money for the victims and their families
Meanwhile, William Nyarko, project coordinator for the ‘Jammeh2Justice Ghana Coalition’, has said the US$ 600,000 is inadequate and wants the government of Ghana to push for an increment.
“When you have to provide compensation you cannot provide the same amount to them, the money is inadequate and that Ghana should negotiate for more.”
The Jammeh2Justice Ghana Coalition is a Civil Society Organizations advocating justice and the payment of reparations for the victims’ families and survivors.
Other members of the Coalition include the Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA); Amnesty International, Ghana; Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI); Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA); Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC); and POS Foundation.