- The joint UN and West African bloc (ECOWAS) fact-finding team has found the Gambian government liable for the disappearance of 44 Ghanaians and other West African nationals in the Gambia.
According to a statement issued by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, the eight-month investigations into the disappearance, has established that the West Africans including the 44 Ghanaians were victims of a scam perpetuated by the Gambian to be transport to Europe by sea.
The deceased were found dead in 2005, in the Tangy forest in Banjul in what the Ghanaian government said was state sponsored killing.
The findings also established that members of the Gambian security service acting on their own took active part in the deaths and disappearance of the West African nationals including the Ghanaians.
The UN and ECOWAS investigative team said the Gambian government should be held accountable for failing to protect the lives of immigrants though it said the Gambian government was not directly responsible for the murders.
“By international law, countries must take responsibility for protecting the lives of its residents,” the seven paged report said.
The Foreign Minister stated that even though the report blamed rogue elements within the Gambian security for the morbid act, it did not find direct link the state of Gambia or its leadership to the deaths.
The report has recommended that the perpetrators of the murders must be hunted and prosecuted for their role in the murders.
The committee has recommended the Gambian government to pay compensation to the families of the victims, saying the two governments must however agree on the amount to be paid.
The victims were allegedly enticed to Gambia with the promise of providing a vessel to ferry them to Europe. The report said the stranded victims were arrested and later released but were found dead in the Gambian forest in a murder suspected to have been carried out by some gang element.
The bodies are to be exhumed and given a befitting burial in their native countries.
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