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31 August 2003 | Regional News

Victims mobilisation committee set up to assist NRC

Techiman (B/A) Aug.31, GNA - A six-member victims mobilization committee that will assist the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) in the national healing process in Techiman District of Brong Ahafo has been set up.

The committee is tasked to mobilize victims of human rights abuses /violation between 1957 and 1993 in the district.

Members are from the Traditional Council, Muslim community, Christian community, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).

It was set up at a day's forum jointly organized by Centre for Development Development (CDD), Civil Society Coalition and Techiman District Assembly to enable the people to appreciate the work of the NRC and its importance to national development.

Inaugurating the committee, Mr Richard Apronti, member of the CDD/Civic Coalition on national reconciliation urged Ghanaians to appreciate the establishment of the NRC, which has been established to help unite the country for its rapid socio-economic development.

Mr Apronti noted that Ghanaians had not had the benefit of any workable mechanism to unite them for peace and development and lauded the role of civil society and other organizations for initiating the process of healing wounds in the country.

He charged members of the committee to work assiduously to galvanise and mobilize victims in the district for the smooth work of the NRC.

Ms Annie Anipa, Public Affairs Director of NRC in a presentation said the Commission "is a fact finding body that is committed to the principle of national justice and procedural fairness".

She said the Commission had heard about 500 cases on unlawful detention, torture, ill treatment, disappearance, abductions, killings and unlawful dismissals, among others, since it began work.

More than 3,831 statements have been received across the country, the Public Affairs Director added and urged people to patronize the work of the Commission.

Dr Araba Sefa-Dedeh, Director of Counselling and Support Service of the NRC said the unit, through counseling had unearthed major gender, political and institutional issues that needed to be addressed for true healing to take place.

In order for the nation to achieve healing, it must recognize and accept that when citizens' rights are grossly abused it affects everyone, she said and stressed the need for the nation to make amends for its past to ensure that people's rights are not wantonly abused again.

Mr Emmanuel Twi-Yeboah, Presiding Member of the Assembly commended the organizers of the forum and expressed the hope that "Ghanaians have come to understand the exercise of reconciliation". Nana Antwi-Boasiako 11, Akyeamehene of Techiman Traditional Area, who presided, advised Ghanaians to take a cue from the country's sordid past and learn to live in peace and unity.

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