Witness gives accounts of April 10, 11 students’ demonstration

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Lamin Jobe, an Admin Officer at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education on Monday appeared before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), and gave accounts of the students’ demonstration that occurred on April 10 and 11, 2000.

Witness said before April 10 and 11, in March 2000, Ebrima Barry who was a student died after a serious torture alleged by the Fire Officers in Brikama.

“Ebrima had a confrontation with his teacher Mr. Paul for not wanting to sit in front of the classroom but instead in the back, and he was handed over to the Fire Officers of Brikama Station. Ebrima told us that the Fire Officers beat him mercilessly, forcefully shaved his hair and poured water on him.”

According to Jobe, the matters led to The Gambia College Student Union convene a meeting and went ahead with their demonstration after engaging the authorities and nothing was done.

“After our demonstration going back, the students attacked the fire station and destroyed their ambulance’s wind glasses. After two days, the interior Minister Ousman Badjie and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ricks King, came to meet us at the school ground, where they told us that whosoever demonstrated again would face serious things. I can’t keep quiet and told them that we need justice and we will do anything it may take us.”

Explaining the students’ demonstration that took place at Brikama in 2000, he said he was called by a friend that there was an incident.

“I went to the ground and found smokes all over Brikama Police Station. I met the students standing just opposite the soldiers who were deployed to the ground, and all of a sudden I heard a command said shoot. They shot live bullets to the students, some fell and some ran for their lives.”

He continued that he was beaten and arrested the same day with more than 100 people and taken to Yundum Barrack. He added that when they reached the barrack, he was taken to a cell and others were taken to a hall, while those at the hall were beaten the whole day.

He lamented that after their removal from Yundum Barrack, he was taken to Police Headquarters, where he was interviewed by the IGP, deputy IGP, PRO Ablie Sanyang and other commissioners.

“From the police I was also escorted by Tijan Bah to the NIA, where I was detained for six days. Overall, I was detained for 16 days and after all their investigation, they accused us as opposition children.”

He said those who lost their lives on April 10 and 11 incident included Ousman Sabally, Omar Barrow, Modou Lamin Njie, Modou Lamin Chone, Lamin A. Bojang, Borama Badjie, Sainey Nyabally and others. 

Author: Pa Modou Cham
Source: Picture: Lamin Jobe