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15.06.2005 Football News

Compensate victims of violence after 1993 Kotoko-Asec match

GNA

Accra, June 15, GNA - Security Experts on Tuesday called on the Governments of Ghana and La C=F4te d'Ivoire to immediately compensate victims of violence that erupted after a match between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Ivorian club Asec Mimosa in 1993.

They attributed the long delay to deep seated differences among members of the Joint Committee appointed by the two countries to determine the extent of loss of life and injuries and the security threat it posed to the relations between the two sister countries. The Experts that included serving and retired Military, Police, and Immigration Officers, were contributing to a discussion on: "Ghana's Foreign Policy in the West African Sub-region: The Challenges 1992 to 2005," organised by the African Security Dialogue and Research (ASDR) in Accra.

"Justice delayed is justice denied," they said. "The long silence on the payment of just and adequate compensation to the victims on both sides has created an underground security current with the potential of exploding at the least provocation."

Speaking on the Foreign Policy of Ghana, Mr Joseph Cleland, a Former Ghanaians Diplomat, recounted that after the match in 1993 there were uncorroborated allegations of wanton killings and maiming of many Ivorian supporters in Kumasi.

This ignited an almost spontaneous mayhem against Ghanaians in Abidjan in particular. Hundreds of Ghanaians had to seek protection at Police stations in Cote d'Ivoire.

Mr Cleland said in the midst of the confusion the Ghana Government sent a high powered delegation led by then Foreign Minister Dr Obed Asamoah to Abidjan to ascertain the facts and seek protection for Ghanaian nationals.

According to Mr Cleland, who had worked at the Foreign Ministry for more than 30 years, the delegation was satisfied that the Ivorian authorities were not a party to the unleashing of the violence on the Ghanaian nationals.

However, it expressed regret that "the Police or Gendarmes turned their heads the other way in the face of the use of violence against Ghanaian nationals".

Mr Cleland, therefore, supported the call for the reopening of the case and enforcement of recommendations of the joint committee. "The Joint Committee must be pressurised to release its report," said.

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