The leader of Ghana's armed forces has denied that his country's new revolutionary government is guilty of the widespread abuse of human rights.
1. CU Brigadier Joseph Nunoo Mensa speaking (3 shots) 1.48
MENSA: "The way I see things in Ghana, I would doubt, indeed doubt, that Ghana would ever see the kind of political system we've had. I'm saying it only because this is the kind of programme the PNDC has for the country. But I think that out of all these things happening in Ghana, something is going to evolve, some structure will evolve, and this structure, what I'm saying isn't going to be the kind of structure we have in the past. We have had party politics brought down to us from Europe. We have worked with it for twenty five years. It has been disastrous. The people are disillusioned, they are disenchanted, they've lost faith in the system, and don't believe they will go back to that system again."
WILLIAMS: "What's your response to these accusations that there have been very bad violations of human rights since the PNDC came to power?"
MENSA: "I have a lot of respect for human rights, and I will not be a party to any government that abuses human rights. The PNDC respects human rights. We believe in the rule of law; and this is what we have tried to do. People may have been killed, here and there, it's likely to happen in Britain, America, or elsewhere. If these did happen, then they happened without the approval of the PNDC. We as a government have never authorised any killing of that sort."
REPORTER: GERRARD WILLIAMS
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Background: LONDON, U.K.
The leader of Ghana's armed forces has denied that his country's new revolutionary government is guilty of the widespread abuse of human rights. Interviewed in London on Tuesday (23 March) Brigadier Joseph Nunoo Mensa, Chief of Ghana's Defence Staff, said the regime respects human rights and is trying to uphold the rule of law. He was responding to allegations made by Ghana's High Commissioner to Nigeria, Alhaji Youssif Patty, who has sought political asylum there. Mr. Patty claimed thousands died in the coup which brought Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings to power on New Year's Eve. He said he could not serve under a regime which is 'composed of people who have no respect for human rights, people who feel that every prosperous person is criminal'. Brigadier Mensa, who is a member of the ruling of People's National Defence Council, admitted that some killings may have occurred. But they did not take place with approval of the PNDC. Visnews reporter Gerrard Williams asked him if he expected a return to democracy in Ghana.
Source: REUTERS - KEN HARDING