Ghana spends GH¢420,329 on compensation to Gambian victims
Ghana Government has so far spent about GH¢420,329 out of the $500,000 provided by the Gambian Government as compensation for the murder of a group of Ghanaians by unidentified persons in the Gambia on July 23, 2005.
The amount represents compensations paid to families of the victims and survivors as well as expenses incurred on the State-assisted funeral and burial service held in honour of the victims in Accra on December 10, 2010.
Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, disclosed this on the floor of Parliament when answering a question posed by Mr Yaw Afful, Member of Parliament(MP) for Jaman South, on the final list of beneficiaries and how much each person received from the Gambian Government towards the burial and funeral rites of the victims.
He said 27 beneficiaries received GH¢10,000 each, with the payment for three additional persons who were yet to collect their compensations.
Reports at the time of the incident indicated that 44 Ghanaians who were among a group of West African nationals attempted traveling from Senegal through the Gambia to seek greener pastures in Europe but had their intentions curtailed when suspected rogue elements of the Gambian security establishment murdered the group, drawing international condemnation of extra-judicial killings in that country.
After months of forensic investigations by a joint ECOWAS and UN team, it recommended the exhumation of the corpses for a befitting burial in line with customary practices to be accompanied by payment of compensation.
Therefore, Ghanaian and Gambia authorities signed a Memorandum of Understanding to begin implementing the recommendations therein, culminating in the payment of $500,000 to Ghana.
Although the team did not find the Gambian Government culpable, it blamed the killing on elements within the Gambian security agency.