Ex-PIU commander testifies on migrants’ killing

Mar 26, 2021, 11:14 AM

Former commander of Police Intervention Unit (PIU), Biran Mbaye, yesterday testified before the TRRC on issues relating to the alleged killing of West African migrants, stating that it was not the first time the PIU was stained with such massive atrocities.

Narrating the things he knew during the incident, Mbaye explained that the former deputy inspector general of police informed him about migrants, who were arrested and taken to Barra Police Station.

Former Commissioner Mbaye revealed that the migrants were transported to Banjul and then to Kairaba Police Station, adding that details of the migrants were written down.

“The relief commander obtained the details of the migrants and copies were handed over to all the service chiefs. We were at the Kairaba Station for more than one hour and there was abnormality in the behaviour of Bombardier and colleagues.”

He said some were taken to Baba Jobe's residence in Kololi, while the last three who couldn’t fit at the Kairaba Station were taken to PIU Headquarters.

He said when he got a call from the PIU officers at Brufut Ghana Town that they had discovered three dead bodies, he visited the scene and saw eight naked bodies.

The witness further told the commission that the killings were done in a mysterious way, in which their mouths and ears were oozing blood. He added that Musa Touray, one of his officers told him that the ‘Junglers’ usually picked some of the victims from the police station. 

At this juncture, Counsel Essa Faal told him that while standing at the Tanji Bird Reserve, he knew fully well that those people killed were part of the migrants. The witness responded in the affirmative. 

“There was no dispute that the group of eight were part of those migrants apprehended in Barra. The Gambia government lied when they stated that the group of eight were not part of the migrants.”

On the burials of two additional victims at Ghana Town, he said he didn’t give any instruction to anyone to do that and it was a lie for anyone to say that he gave that order.

Mbaye further testified that he and his personnel were threatened not to speak about the incident. 

“I have high regards for Yankuba Sonko but what he said regarding the dairies was a lie. Jim Drammeh also lied when he said the dairies were not doctored.” 

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