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General News Mon, 9 Sep 2002

There is no need for institutional reconciliation - Dan Lartey

Mr. Dan Lartey, Founder of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), on Monday said that the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) set up by government to address human rights violations of past unconstitutional regimes was not necessary in the wake of current political occurrences.

He said there were still some forms of human rights abuses in the country under the administration of President J.A Agyekum, which, needed to be checked and corrected before thinking of "healing old wounds." Mr. Lartey said, "there is no need for institutional reconciliation on the past when even now human rights were being abused".

According to him, the recent invitation of former President Rawlings by BNI operatives was one form of human rights violation in a volatile environment and the crowd that thronged there could have further led to the breach of the peace.

Mr. Lartey, who was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said the former President like any other person was subject to his opinion and that unless it could be proved beyond reasonable doubt that there was an element beyond expression of his opinion then the law must be allowed to take its course.

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"At the moment, the NPP government has fallen short of making peace and must change its policies towards peace making for the good of the country," he said. He said actions by the Wuaku Commission, which investigated the Yendi crisis and during its work saw the boycott by the Andani family, did not impact peace and therefore, made reconciliation an infantile one.

He deplored the actions of both President Kufuor and Vice President Aliu Mahama in refusing to visit the conflict areas of Dagbon to reconcile the people before even the NRC started hearing of human rights violations, adding that everybody would welcome the NRC if it would bring about peace.

The government, he said, must as much as possible avoid confrontations of this nature and work hard to bring about peace. "We are all praying to God that the NRC was not set up by government to defame political opponents to retain power forever," he added.

Mr Lartey said there would be no true reconciliation if all forms of human rights abuses were still there and new abuses were being added to existing ones. He urged the UN team currently on peace-making mission at the Dagbon area to find lasting peaceful solution to the crisis.

Source: gna
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