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General News Mon, 9 Sep 2002

National Reconciliation Commission to open offices in Bolga and Tamale

The Bolgatanga and Tamale offices of the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) would be opened this week for victims of human rights abuses in unconstitutional governments to make statements and complaints.

A source close to the Public Affairs Secretariat of the Commission said the Tamale office, which would be located in the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) opens on Tuesday while that of Bolgatanga, which would be in the SSNIT building, begins taking statements and complaints on Wednesday.

Zonal offices of the NRC have so far opened in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, and Ho. The source said a cumulative 298 complaints and statements had so been taken as at last Friday, the fourth working day of the Commission, and added that prominent features among the complaints were torture, disappearance, confiscation of property, unlawful detention and illegal dismissals from work.

Of the 289, there were 170 complaints and statements from Accra, 81 from Kumasi, 18 in Takoradi and 20 from Ho. The source said most of the statements and complainants had documents for evidence. It said no person tried in absentia had so far filed any complaint.

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The NRC was established by an Act of Parliament, Act 611, to seek and promote national reconciliation among the people by recommending appropriate redress for persons, who have suffered any injury, hurt, damage, grievance or have, in any other manner been adversely affected by violations and abuses of their human rights arising from activities or in-activities of public institutions and persons holding public office during periods of unconstitutional government.

The unconstitutional periods named are from 24 February 1966 to 21 August 1969; 13 January, 1972 to 23 September 1979; and 31st December 31, 1981 and

6 January 1993.

The Commission, which has one year and three months to submit its report and recommendations to government, may on application by any person pursue the object of reconciliation in respect of human rights violation in any other period between 6 March, 1957 and 6 January 1993.

Source: gna
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