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23.07.2006 General News

European team apologize to Ghana over slave trade

By GNA
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Accra, July 22, GNA-A team of Africans of the Diaspora and white Europeans and Americans on Saturday called on the Ga Traditional Council and apologized for the "sins" of their forefathers in the Atlantic Slave Trade.

Mr David Pott, an European led the team on the "Lifeline Expedition", a series of reconciliation journeys, which constitute a Christian response to the legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Some members of the team walked in replica yokes and chains to the Jamestown Palace in Accra where the Jamestown Chief, Nii Kojo Ababio VI and his elders received them.

The expedition journey is aimed at bringing people from Africa, the Americas and Europe to work, pray and walk together with the aim of promoting reconciliation in the context of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, slavery and its legacy.

Mr Pott, who is the Founder and Leader of the Lifeline Expedition together with other leading members of the team, knelt down as a sign of repentance before the chiefs to beg for forgiveness for the role their ancestors played in the slave trade.

He reiterated that the slave trade was an "African holocaust" which contributed in the wars of the Continent and rather advantaged the Europeans and the Americans.

Mr Pott on behalf of the ancestors expressed his heartfelt feelings of remorse to the chiefs and people of Jamestown and the entire Ghanaian Community saying, their journey was to reconcile with the lost root. A Dutch Representative of the Team, Mr Wout Bouwman, expressed regret that their forefathers who were themselves Christians rather ignored the tenets of Christianity and chose to enslave the people in exchange of guns and other unprofitable products. Nii Ababio accepted the apology on behalf of the people and prayed that the perpetrators of the slave trade would found forgiveness before God.

He assured the team that they would always be welcomed into the community and in Ghana whenever they visited.

The team, which will later call on the Chiefs and people of Osu and Tema would also visit Cape Coast, Elmina, Winneba and Apam as part of their expedition before leaving Ghana for Togo and Benin. These places and towns, which they would be visiting, host some of the forts and castles where Ghanaian slaves were kept before they were shipped or taken to the Americas and Europe.

The Lifeline Expedition journey started as the Jubilee 2000 lifeline walk in England. Since that time journeys have taken place in France, Spain and Portugal, USA and the Caribbean.

The journey would end in England in 2007 for the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave trade.

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