Cancel debts, return stolen items of colonised countries – Ghanaian-born UK MP tells British gov’t

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The Labour Member of Parliament for Streatham, Bell Ribeiro-Addy has urged the UK government to return items forcefully taken from countries colonised; as part of efforts to rectify its history as slave masters.

This, according to the MP, together with the cancellation of debts, will show that the Britain government is truly remorseful for its acts during the colonial days like slavery.

This comes days after France announced a decision to return artifacts stolen from Benin during its colonial occupation by 2021.

“I am someone who firmly believes that the only way you can tackle an issue is at its very root. And the racism which I and many others in this country face on a daily basis has its very root in these injustices.

“Not only will this country not apologize, but they also have not once offered a form of reparations. People see reparation as handing over a large sum of money, but why could we not start with it today? Simple things like fairer trade, simple things like returning items that do not belong to us and simple things like cancelling debts that we have had paid over and over again.

“And I believe the reason for this is because we only apologize to our equals,” she said as part of her speech on the floor of the House of Commons, during the Global Britain debate.

The British politician of Ghanaian descent maintained that the UK will be left in the cold if appropriate measures are not taken to make amends and address issues of racism and injustice.

“Whilst we spent years debating Brexit – engaged in monumental self-harm, India surpassed the UK to become the fifth richest economy in the world. India, a former British colony, this country presided over bloody partition, the Amritsar massacre and Bengal famine.

“We also see countries in Africa like Ghana, Kenya and Uganda amongst the fastest growing economies in the world. Countries that Britain deliberately underdeveloped stole resources from and brutally enslaved its people.”

Bell Ribeiro-Addy, together with three other Ghanaians are in the UK House of Commons after securing a win in the elections held in December last year.

The four, made up of two females and two males, won on the tickets of the Labour Party and the Conservative Party respectfully.

While, Abena Oppong-Asare won the Erith and Thamesmead Constituency with 48 per cent of the votes and a majority of 3,758, Bell Ribeiro-Addy won the seat to represent the Streatham constituency after securing 54.8 per cent with 30,976 vTheir male counterparts, Adam Afriyie also retained the Windsor seat with 31,501 votes and Kwasi Kwarteng, also kept possession of his Spelthorne seat with 18,000. 

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