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More Casamance rebels testify in court

Jun 2, 2011, 1:24 PM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

The criminal trial involving 17 Casamance rebels continued on Tuesday at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul before Justice Joseph Enwa Ikpala.

The seventeen accused persons are being tried on charges of illegal entry into the country and possession of firearms.

The thirteenth accused person (DW13) Seedy Sanyang, told the court that he lives at Mamuda Jala in Casamance, and that he has been a separatist rebel for 19 years now, fighting for the independence of Casamance and its people.

DW13, further adduced that the reason for their presence in The Gambia was as a result of the conflict that erupted among the rebel factions.

“The unrest in Casamance compelled me to flee into The Gambia. We were attacked by our fellow separatists,” he said, adding that upon his arrival in The Gambia, he was arrested.

“I was searched by the Gambian soldiers and D7, 000 and 400, 000 CFA was taken from me. I was asked to reveal where our weapons were concealed, and I told them that it was in the jungle. We were later taken to the Bullock Police Station and later to the NIA headquarters in Banjul,” he added.

Next to testify was Tumani Manga, who said he came from Yeap village in Casamance, and is a farmer by profession.

He said he is a separatist rebel who is fighting for the independence and freedom of Casamance, but to his surprise they were attacked by another separatist group.

“We then fled into The Gambia, but before we fled we hid our weapons in Casamance,” he said, adding that he was arrested in Besse and taken to the Bullock Police Station and later to the NIA headquarters in Banjul.

Hearing continues.