General News Mon, 21 Jul 2008

Africans urged to confront human trafficking

Keta, July 21, GNA - Africans must confront human trafficking as resolutely and passionately as they reviled the decimation caused Africa by the slave trade.

Togbui James Ocloo VI, Dufia of Keta, made the call at the second annual Emancipation Day celebration organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Ghana Tourist Board and the people of Keta to mark the history and the end of human slavery at the weekend at Keta. He said no decent minded person should stay aloof from fighting human trafficking which he labelled as a wicked and modern slavery. Togbui Ocloo said the Emancipation Day "is a celebration of freedom, liberties and the rebirth of the dignity of the African and for which no other similar criminality must be condoned or glossed over". "It must continue to remind us to reflect on the shameful slavery of the past and to ensure that no member of the human race is made to endure the pain and humiliation such as that perpetrated by the trade in human beings", he said.

Togbui Ocloo appealed to the African to treasure the rich culture and preserve it against cheap foreign commercial culture in the interest of the African youth.

He commended Queen Sheba Ra III of Nubia who was the guest of honour for keeping the bond of friendship among African kingdoms and commitment to the African spirit and pride in the common culture. In a speech read on her behalf Mrs Oboshie Sai-Cofie, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, said Ghana would consistently show solidarity and understanding towards Africans everywhere as a way of affirming Ghana as the gateway to the African homeland. She said government was concerned about the current practice of parents selling their children into slavery and said they would be fought out. Agbotadua Kumassa, a historian, recounted the role Keta played in the mobilization and shipment of slaves.

He mentioned some powerful local merchants who made fortunes from the slave trade as they used armed gangs to plunder villages and offered protection to major slave merchants.

A number of Africans from the Diaspora joined in the celebrations during which some sites including the Atorkor slave market were visited.

Source: GNA