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Avellon Williams

GRENADA- In an effort to achieve reparations for slavery, Grenada’s Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell has invited British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to attend discussions with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

At a reparation forum last week, PM Mitchell extended an invitation to British Prime Minister Sunak hosted by the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Grenada National Reparations Committee (GNRC).

According to PM Mitchell, reparatory justice discussions, the legacy of British colonialism, and slavery across the Caribbean should be open, transparent, frank, and dignified.

“As a head of government, I want to take this opportunity to join in a public request to my fellow head of government of the United Kingdom to accept our kind invitation to commence dialogue in an open, transparent, frank and dignified manner to talk of the need for reparative justice for the citizens of CARICOM,” he stated.

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His comments came after he received a formal apology from the British Trevelyan family for their ancestors’ role in enslaving over 1,000 Africans at their Grenada plantations.

The invitation was also extended to several European leaders, including the new French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne and Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

He said: “And to also use your good office as the convenor to join with your European counterparts to address this issue with your French and Spanish counterparts in particular.”

In his speech, PM Mitchell referred primarily to Haiti and said the Caribbean nation is an outstanding example of “reparative justice” being needed.

He said: “And I make special mention of the Republic of Haiti. Because if there is one island where it is demonstrable that the need for reparative justice exists it is the Republic of Haiti.”

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BBC reporter Laura Trevelyan, who was in Grenada to apologize for the past role her ancestors played in slavery, also backed Mitchell’s call for the talks.

She urged the British authorities to engage in reparations talks with CARICOM and bodies such as the Grenadian National Reparations Commission in the region.

As part of the same event, the Grenada National Reparations Commission (GNRC) recommended that the government begin consultations about removing King Charles III as it’s head of state.

According to Arley Gill, chairman of the GNRC, Grenada is preparing to celebrate 50 years of independence from the United Kingdom next year.

Arley Gill /Image, NG/

A conversation on Grenada becoming a republic and moving away graciously from the [British] Monarchy as head of state must commence in earnest,” Mr Gill said at a Reparations Forum held last Monday.

In the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Britain shipped 3.1 million Africans across the Atlantic Ocean between 1662 and 1807, according to the National Archives of Grenada.

The forcibly enslaved Africans were brought to British-owned colonies in the Caribbean, including Grenada, where they were employed as slaves on plantations, which generated millions of pounds for the British government.

In 2022, PM Mitchell became Grenada’s ninth Prime Minister after winning the general election.

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Avellon Williams

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