GRENADA’S PRIME Minister has renewed his call for Britain to apologise for slavery and pay reparations.
This follows Dickon Mitchell’s invitation to PM Rishi Sunak earlier this year, to enter discussions with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) about reparations for slavery.
In an interview with The Independent,Dickon Mitchell said Britain needs to apologise and pay up.
“If the UK wants to continue being a country that demonstrates that it upholds the values of justice, fairness, democracy, [and] equal treatment of human beings, then it should be upfront in apologising for slavery,” Mr Mitchell told the newspaper.
“Reluctance or refusal to do so then sends the opposite message. In Grenada, as a former colony of the UK, we recognise the legacy issues that we’re dealing with and therefore I think it’s the decent thing to do, frankly.
“Even in a post-colonial era, I think it is critical to ensuring that going forward … we improve our relationship with Britain and see that there’s a genuine sense that the former colonies, the people who live there, are viewed as equals by the country that colonised us.”
Speaking at a reparation forum which was hosted by the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Grenada National Reparations Committee (GNRC), earlier this year, he also said talks about reparatory justice, 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,” Mr Mitchell stated.
According to the National Archives of Grenada, between 1662 and 1807 Britain shipped 3.1 million Africans across the Atlantic Ocean in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
The Africans who were forcibly enslaved and were brought to British owned colonies in the Caribbean, including Grenada, and sold as slaves to work on plantations, generating millions of pounds for Britain.
Mr Mitchell, became Grenada’s ninth Prime Minister last year after winning the 2022 general election.