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23.07.2004 General News

Sudanese From Dafour Speaking Twi and Ga?

By Alberto Zoppo (Rome)
ROME - Italy deported most of the African migrants who arrived on a ship operated by a German relief agency, putting 25 of them on a plane to Ghana Thursday. Police determined six were from Nigeria and the other 31 were from Ghana. GhanaHomePage enquired how it was determined the 31 were Ghanaians. A Nigerian, who was granted permission to stay in Italy in return for his cooperation, revealed to the Italian authorities the "real" nationalities of those on board. According to Associated Press, he also said a smuggler told the 37 to say they were Sudanese when they arrived in Italy. According to an Italian source, during the few days the refugees spent in a holding area, most of them spoke a dialect/language, which was later determined to be Twi - spoken in both Ghana & Ivory Coast - and Ga. The deportees were part of a group of 37 Africans permitted to dock in Sicily on July 12 after a diplomatic stalemate. The German vessel had plied the Mediterranean for weeks in search of a friendly port. The ship's operator, the Cologne, Germany-based relief agency Cap Anamur, said it rescued the Africans at sea on June 20 and some had identified themselves as refugees from Sudan's Darfur region, which the United Nations says is suffering the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Five of the Africans on board were flown out Tuesday night. “The 25 Africans that arrived today in Accra (Ghana) are all Ghanaian, except one from Sierra Leone”. This was the statement made this evening by a well-informed government source.

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