Faal demands Jammeh face justice as TRRC records 250 murders

May 31, 2021, 11:49 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

After two years of national duty designed to investigate crimes committed by former President Yahya Jammeh and his enablers, the lead counsel of the TRRC, Essa M. Faal revealed that about 220 to 250 murders occurred in the country under Jammeh; adding that justice should be done and it must be seen to be done.

He confirmed that 11 people were killed on November 11, 1994; 14 people on April 10, 2000; and 5 of Jammeh’s relatives.

He added Daba Marena and colleagues were killed, 67 West African migrants were killed, 41 killed due to Jammeh’s witch hunting activities and some as a result of the President’s Alternative Treatment Programme.

Eight people were killed at Kanilai, a list which was provided by Essa Keita.

Koro Ceesay, Deyda Hydara, Baba Jobe, Ndogo Mboob, Saul Ndow, Almamo Manneh, Amadou Dumbuya, Dawda Nyassi, Mustapha Colley, Ello Jallow, Mariama Camara and her husband Alpha Jallow, Mamud Ceesay, Ebou Jobe and Yahya Drammeh were all killed.

Mr. Faal emphasised that disappearance was Jammeh’s mode of operandi, in which Buba Yarbo, Abdoulie Ann, Babai Sanyang, Chief Ebrima Manneh, Omar Hydara, Seedy Sanneh, Momodou Jobe, and Kanjiba Kanji all disappeared.

“There may be denials but these numbers don’t lie. Deny as much as you wish but the fact speaks for itself. Justice must happen, we all pray for reconciliation and that is fundamental but there must be a justice for the victims. Dictatorship, self-perpetuation in power and corruption is a recipe for disaster but in order to free ourselves from those shackles, we have to ensure there is rule of law and to have strong democratic institutions. If we don’t correct the ills of the past, we will be sowing seeds of disaster for the future,” Lead Counsel Faal said in his closing statement after years of TRRC’s public hearing.

Faal said he realised they were dealing with a very dark chapter in our history and a beast with many heads. He explained that in 1994, a group of soldiers hijacked our democracy, suspended our constitution, and made us believe they were soldiers with differences and they were going to salvage the country and save it from rampant corruption, nepotism and bring in transparency, accountability and probity. He said most of the people embraced it because they were tired of the slow pace of development.

“We had a great democracy, one of the best civil services in the world, an unblemished human rights record, one to boast about everywhere but we put it aside and embraced a military hunter. They were humiliating our political leaders and putting them in military trucks and dumped them in military barracks. They attacked people on the road to show power, people were shot on private convoys and we have received evidence from those perpetrators. The hunter was imposing their will on the Gambians and dumped most of the senior security officers in jail unlawfully. We have seen the night of September 6th, they went to the jail and unlawfully tortured and brutalised the senior military officers.” 

As if that was not enough in the night of September, the veteran lawyer stated the hunter started arresting political leaders and tortured them at Mile 2 prison, saying this was just the little symptoms that were imagined. To further entrench into power, he said, ‘Jammeh first silenced the soldiers on November 11, where 11 officers were executed in cold blood.’

The emotional lead counsel reiterated that Koro Ceesay was also silenced permanently and in order for Jammeh to further solidify his power, he began to attack the media.

“Personnel of the media fraternity were arrested and detained and some ended in exile. We remember on April 10 and 11, where 14 and at least 12 students were butchered along Kairaba Avenue and Red Cross by the commands of Jammeh. We have heard how the instructions came from Cuba to former VP Isatou Njie Saidy. Through a beauty pageant and a protocol girl system, our sisters were humiliated, sexually abused just to further subjugate the Gambians and show superiority for one’s self-aggrandisement. We have seen how institutions were created to further strengthen or create a dictatorship. We also saw how investigation and judiciary processes were compromised in order to produce desired results for Jammeh.”

“Political dissent was so suppressed that Jammeh could easily be sealed through elections because he manipulated the laws to stay in power and that’s why he had the audacity to say he would rule for a billion years.”

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