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14.03.2006 General News

Akufo-Addo calls for patience in investigations into The Gambia deaths

By GNA

Accra, March 14, GNA - Foreign Minister Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday called for patience in the period leading to a concrete investigation and resolution of the death of Ghanaians in The Gambia last year. He explained that due to the nature of the incidents and the circumstances under which they occurred, it was rather difficult to move into that country and start conducting investigations.

The Foreign Minister, who was addressing the media at the Meet the Press series in Accra, said Ghanaian and The Gambian authorities were currently engaged in investigations at the various locations and would soon come out on the matter. The team comprises officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Criminal Investigations Division, Homicide Unit and the Forensic Science Laboratory of the Ghana Police Service. He said the team had already had a briefing session with officials of the Ghana Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, and all relevant documents and oral briefs had been made available to them.

The Mission had also identified various locations in Senegal which would be of significant relevance to the investigations, especially in identifying the organizers of the boat that was carrying illegal immigrants, including Ghanaians, which resulted in the deaths. He said some identified Ghanaian witnesses had been summoned to deliver their testimonies while others who lived with some of those who undertook the journey were in the process of being interviewed. Nana Akufo-Addo said the Senegalese security agencies would assist the team to verify the details provided by some survivors of the events that occurred on 23 July 2005. The team would move to Banjul on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 to join their Gambian counterparts to continue investigations. He said the team would submit a report for further action to be taken on the matter, adding that the Government was determined to leave no stone unturned till the truth of the whole matter was fully established and appropriate measures duly taken.

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