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General News
Govt To Probe Death Of Ghanaians 3/8/2007
The government has assured Ghanaians that it will do everything within its powers to unravel the circumstances that led to the murder of some Ghanaians in The Gambia.

A Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Co-operation and NEPAD, Mr Akwasi Osei-Adjei, said investigations had so far revealed that eight Ghanaians were killed in July 2005 in the Gambia as against the 40 people which had been speculated in the media.

Answering a question posed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bole/Bamboi, Mr John Mahama, the deputy minister said investigations into the case had delayed due to the unco-operative attitude of officials of The Gambia.

Mr Osei-Adjei stated that although the ministry “is frustrated by the unco-operative attitude of The Gambian officials, we are trying hard to get more evidence before considering reporting the matter to the appropriate international bodies”.

Asked whether the government would consider to sever relationship with The Gambia, he said such a move would not help, since there were other Ghanaians in that country.

That, he added, would also impede the efforts of the ministry to get the necessary evidence to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book.

Narrating steps taken by the ministry, Mr Osei-Adjei said the sector minister led a delegation of officials and the Ghana Police Service to Banjul in August 2005 on the instructions of the President.

He said the meeting led to an understanding that Ghana and The Gambia should set up a joint investigative team to work together to unravel the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Ghanaians in The Gambia.

Mr Osei-Adjei stated that although the joint team was constituted, The Gambian authorities had shifted the position, thereby frustrating the efforts of the Ghanaian officials to get to the bottom of the matter.

He explained that despite an unanticipated shift of position by The Gambians to the effect that investigations should commence from Dakar, Senegal, instead of Banjul as previously agreed, the Ghanaian team proceeded to Dakar and with the assistance of the Senegalese authorities, investigations were concluded into the ill-fated journey of the Ghanaians and the principal characters behind it.

Mr Osei-Adjei said although the Ghanaian team had since then sought to meet their Gambian counterparts, their efforts had proved futile, adding that the outstanding work to conclude the case required the co-operation of The Gambian authorities.

He, however, stated that The Gambian authorities had finally agreed to co-operate with its Ghanaian counterparts and to finalise investigations to enable the appropriate action to be taken against the perpetrators.

On July 23, 2005, a number of Ghanaians in transit from Senegal to Europe were apprehended in the waters off The Gambia by Gambian officials, and had since disappeared.

Reports indicate that the Ghanaians were murdered by The Gambian police force on suspicion that they were coup plotters.

Source:
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