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» 11.11.2010 - Gambia coup "only matter of time"
» 27.09.2010 - Gambia Dictator "lied about Obama award"
» 15.07.2010 - Gambian "coup plotters" sentenced to death
» 04.03.2010 - $8 million support for agric production
» 04.03.2010 - Six security officials sacked
» 16.02.2010 - Gambia expels UNICEF envoy
» 07.01.2010 - Kenya deports controversial Muslim cleric
» 19.11.2009 - Gambian president withdraws from Commonwealth meeting

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Joint probe on Ghanaian massacre

afrol News, 18 August - A joint fact-finding team involving the United Nations and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has been set up to probe into the massacre of a number of Ghanaian nationals in The Gambia three years ago.

The bodies were found scattered off the coast of the small West African country on 23 July 2005.

"The team was established at the request of both governments to help bring about a peaceful closure to this matter, consistent with the principles of justice and respect for human rights and dignity," UN spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters in New York.

Based in the Nigerian capital Abuja, the team that includes representatives of both goverrnments of The Gambia and Ghana, will be led by Curtis Ward, a UN-ECOWAS appointee.

Investigations later discovered that more than 50 West African national, including 44 Ghanaians, were allegedly massacred by Gambian security forces while on their way to Europe on boat after they were suspected of planning to dislodge President Yahya Jammeh from power.

Ghanaian investigators have identified the scene of the murders and the boat carrying the victims prior to their abduction and killing. They have so far confirmed the killing of 8 Ghanaians who according to autopsy results died from shock.

The story was corroborated by a lone Ghanaian survivor who explained how his colleagues were hacked to death. The issue had strained relations between The Gambia and Ghana, with the latter accusing the former of failing to cooperate in investigations. Several protests had been held on the case during the African Union summit in Ghana and the Commonwealth summit in Uganda.

President Jammeh had flatly denied that no Ghanaian had been murdered in his territory in his territory. He said the story was nothing but the work of his political enemies.

Until it had experienced a military takeover in 1994, The Gambia had been an oasis of democracy, rule of law and human rights. But today the country's citizens live with threats of untold human rights violations, including torture, disappearances and unexplained killings.

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