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Gambia marks one-year of Solo Sandeng & Co killings

Apr 19, 2017, 12:17 PM | Article By: Kaddijatou Jawo

Hundreds of Gambians marched on Saturday to celebrate the life of Ebrima Solo Sandeng, a year after the arrest and killing of the opposition activist.

Sandeng’s death sparked months of protests against the regime of defeated former President Yahya Jammeh and ushering in strong dissent towards the autocratic ruler.

The minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians aboard Ousainou Darboe, led the marched organized by the Solo Sandeng foundation in his honour.

Solo Sandeng was the Organizing Secretary for the United Democratic Party (UDP), after serving as its longtime youth leader before his arrest and killing on April 14, 2016.

Nine former security personnel are being prosecuted by Gambian authorities for Sandeng’s death. He was tortured by Yahya Jammeh’s secret police, leading to his death. They secretly buried him in an unmarked grave in a small coastal village.

Police investigators just recently unearthed his remains after Jammeh’s ouster. Jammeh was defeated in the polls of December 1, 2016 and forced out of the country by West African troops backed by ECOWAS.

Jammeh had refused to acknowledge Sandeng’s death and instead chose to turn against or call out Amnesty International and the UN for demanding an investigation into his death.

The Gambia will be establishing a truth and reconciliation commission to look into allegations of human rights abuses by Jammeh’s regime.