April 11 victim accuses former VP of playing a part

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Sainey Senghore, a victim of April 10 & 11 of 2000 students’ demonstration on Tuesday testified before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), disclosing that he was shot by security personnel at Essau village. He accused the former vice president of playing a role in the incident.

He said after a demonstration that took place within the Greater Banjul Area on April 10, 2000, in which about 14 people lost their lives, his former school, Essau Senior School demonstrated on the 11th of April to show solidarity with their colleagues who were killed. He added that one Binta Manneh was raped by security personnel.

He accused former vice president, Aja Dr. Isatou Njie Saidy of playing a part, saying she was the one in charge as former president Yahya Jammeh was out of jurisdiction. According to him, the then VP made a statement in which she said that the students started the shooting and security officers fired back.

“On April 11, I joined students in the demonstration, and as we were going to towards the police checkpoint in Essau, we saw more than 10 police officers with guns. As we went closer, they first shot indirectly but later opened fire on us and I was shot in my right leg.”

He added that after he was shot, he sustained multiple fractures and was seriously bleeding, leading to his referral to the then Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital in Banjul, where he was admitted for two months before taken to Egypt for overseas treatment with his colleagues by the government. “They are Assan Suwareh and Yusupha Mbaye,” he disclosed.

He explained that Assan was shot in his stomach, while Yusupha was shot in his leg and around the neck which led to him being paralysed.

He said he struggled to find resources for overseas treatment in Senegal and other developing countries. He added that they neither got further treatment after the Egypt trip nor compensation.

“The situation I am living is hard because I can’t do anything for myself and I don’t want to depend on people till the end of my life. I am still anticipating to furthering my education, getting a job and helping my family, he said.”

In his concluding remarks, he reiterated that what they were doing was right and if things had to repeat, he would do the same thing.

Author: Pa Modou Cham