Justice begets peace

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The circumstances surrounding the death in custody of Solo Sandeng, the United Democratic Party Youth Mobiliser, is still unclear, but as the due process of law is unfolding all will certainly come to know how actually he died, and who really caused his death.

Since the exhumation of his remains on 4 March 2017, for a thorough post-mortem at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, a series of arrests have been made, which has amounted to nine people of the former National Intelligence Agency (NIA) facing about 12 charges including conspiracy to commit felony, misdemeanor, murder and forgery.

We, therefore, uphold the truth that there will be no peace without justice in any society; so let justice take its course in The Gambia. 

This is more so because the arrests, detentions and subsequent deaths of many people under the Jammeh regime are there for all to note.

Whilst some lost their lives in the prisons due to ill health, others were allegedly summarily killed and buried somewhere by members of the then state security apparatus.

For 22 years, so many lives were gruesomely taken under the Jammeh regime, including that of our own co-publisher and managing editor, Deyda Hydara.

Up until this day, no thorough investigations and or fact-finding were carried out by the then powers that be.

The agony and pain, as well as the distress and emotional torture of such horrendous happening, is still felt by not only the direct or immediate family members and friends of the victims, but also large sectors of our population who detest such heinous human rights abuses by the former regime.

Lives lost in this manner cut across families, disciplines, professions and sectors of our society – which include security officers, civil servants, politicians and journalists.

So many incidents of alleged killings and burying in places like the coastal village of Tanji in Kombo South, where Solo’s remains were exhumed, are rumoured all around the country.

It is, therefore, essential that such matters are being taken up and pursued.

The new government should leave no stone unturned in getting to the facts of those murdered, and the whereabouts of some of the missing people like journalist Chief Manneh, under the custody of the Jammeh regime.

The majority of our people in this country want the new government to set up a truth and justice commission to unearth the facts and remains of those ‘cases’.

The only thing that can set us free is the truth, and nothing but the truth. So let’s go for it.

“Justice delayed is justice denied.”
William E. Gladstone