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21.12.2004 General News

Ghanaian Seamen Stranded In Gabon

By Ghanaian Times.

The National Council of Ghanaians in Gabon (NCGG) has appealed to the government to urgently rescue a Ghanaian crew aboard a ship that has been detained by the Gabonese authorities for the past 14 months.

“The crew have been confined to their ship all this while, and they look frail and down-hearted”, says Edgar Prince Addo” president of NCGG.

In a letter circulated to the Media, Mr. Addo said that before the ship was arrested it had been loaded with goods on its way to Ghana.

He said he had visited the crew aboard the ship, 'Sandra' at the port of Owendo in Gabon and found their conditions unhealthy.

“They have not even being paid for the past 16 months and the situation calls for immediate attention, otherwise it would get out of hand, he said.

The goods aboard the ship included cars, rive and logs for chewing sticks, “ but mice have eaten all the rice and the logs are rotten”.

He indicated that after Sandra had discharged its cargo at the port of Owendo, “ a little problem' ensued between the Ghanaian crew and the authorities of a mining company called COMILO”.

He said at one time the vessel was permitted to leave the port for Ghana but only to be arrested later.

Mr. Addo said as president of the NCGG, he decided to pay the crewmembers a visit to get first hand information on the situation.

“I was shocked to the marrow when the Captain and the entire crew told me about the hardship they have been going through for the past 14 months aboard the ship.

When the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was contacted in Accra on Monday, the Chief Director, Simon Puli wondered why Mr. Addo had not informed Ghana's Mission in that country about the plight of the Ghanaians or written directly to the Foreign Ministry.

He however stated that the Ministry would contact the Ghana Mission in Gabon to take immediate action.

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