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Minster for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mrs Hannah Tetteh, has disclosed that out of the total amount of US$500,000 paid as compensation to the Government of Ghana for some Ghanaians who were killed in Gambia in 2005, an amount of GH¢ 280,170 was returned to government chest.
According to her, this was because only 27 out of 31 people were identified and verified for payment on 10th December 2010.
Mrs Hannah Tetteh made this known today on the floor of Parliament in response to a question posed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Jaman South, Mr Yaw Afful on whether monies received from the Gambian Government in respect of the Ghanaians killed in 2005 had been fully disbursed.
She informed members that following a process of verification and identification of next of kin, 27 beneficiaries received an amount of GH¢10,000 each as compensation.
She disclosed that two persons where unidentified while two claims were not verified.
She said out of the amount. GH¢ 420,330 was used as funeral expenses and compensation for the 27 beneficiaries.
The Minister said a memo sent to cabinet by the former Foreign Minister on 16th August, 2010 noted that 45 family members of the deceased, the missing and presumed dead and two survivors appeared before a Committee for screening, adding that in undertaking the exercise the committee considered evidence adduced by the claimants in furtherance of the committee’s attempt to establish family connections and other ties with the victims.
In July 2005, the Ghanaian Government received reports that a group of Ghanaians, who attempted to travel from Senegal through to Gambia to seek greener pastures were murdered by some unidentified persons who were suspected to be from the Gambian Security agencies.
In resolving the issue, on the 14th of August 2008 at the request of Ghana and the Gambian Governments, a Joint UN/ECOWAS Fact-Finding Panel was established to facilitate the efforts in unraveling the circumstances surrounding the deaths.
After the UN/ECOWAS Fact-Finding Team presented its reports to the ECOWAS Commission, it was recommended that the bodies of the victims should be exhumed to the families and compensated and given a befitting traditional burial.
As a result, the Gambian Government led a seven –member delegation to Accra to present to the Government of Ghana an amount of Five Hundred Thousand Dollars as a contribution to the deceased families.
Source :ISD (Gilbert Ankrah & Raymond Kwofie)