General, Masanneh Kinteh, the chief of Defense Staff of The Gambia Armed Forces
(GAF) has stated that they are pushing very hard with other partners in taking
a definitive decision about the fate of the people (detained ‘jungulers’) that
are in their custody.
“We are working with the Ministry of Justice in ensuring that we see what to do,” he said. “I have said that we have some ex-soldiers who are still under our custody and they are being investigated to examine the scale of what they have involved particularly in human rights violation.”
“Yes they have been in detention longer than the period that they supposed to be there. This is something we have taken responsibility of. We are working with our partners. We are working with the Ministry of Justice in ensuring that we know exactly what to do and what is the way forward,” he said.
The Gambia CDS made this remarks while responding to questions put to him by journalists over the weekend as what was the fate of the detained jungulers who have been accused of committing atrocities during the former regime, during a press conference held at the Officers’ Mess in Kotu.
“No matter what crime they must have committed they are citizens of this country and they have their entitlements. But we are working hard and we have to understand as a country; there are capacity gaps almost everywhere; not only the military, but even other institutions and lack of resources will really hamper a lot of process.”
Lt. General Kinteh added that they do not like see anybody’s liberty seized for a very long period of time without coming to an end. “But again these are issues which bother our own national security and we have a choice by either releasing these people because we have gone beyond the time they should be in custody, or we can collaborate with other partners in ensuring that a decision is taken at the national level to be able to determine the fate of these people in our custody,” he noted.
“So these are challenges and there is no doubt they have been detained beyond the period that they supposed to be detained.”
CDS Kinteh finally acknowledged that this is an issue that personally worried him day and night; “and we are really pushing very hard with other partners involved in the process in making a definitive decision on the fate of this people in our custody.”