By Yankuba Jallow and Mustapha Jallow
Madam Fatoumata Jallow, the Vice President of the Republic of the Gambia has told the victims of the former regime’s misrule that President Barrow’s Government will never steer the affairs of this country like Jammeh’s autocracy.
She made this statement before victims and families of victims as well as government officials and foreign representatives. She said the Governments of Barrow and Jammeh have different ways of administration such as structures, legal system and others.
She said the Government has committed itself to reforms in areas such as security, legal, constitutional and others. The Government has come up with the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) in order to reveal the truth of the happenings under the 22 years of repressive rule, she added.
“Any person in the Barrow Government who was involved in the injustices will also face justice” she promised.
She called on the country to reveal to the TRRC in order to dig into the truth of Jammeh’s misrule. She called on the Victims Committee to meet her in order to prepare projects where the needs of the victims such as health will be addressed. She further called on victims of the misrule between July 1994 to January 2017 to come and register at the Center for Victims because the findings of the victims will be in the national records.
“President Barrow is committed to the principles of Democracy and rule of Law” she said.
The victims called on the government to investigate the cases of disappeared persons who are not yet traced, the tortures and to bring Jammeh to face Justice. They also pleaded to Government to support them in terms of financing their treatment because they cannot afford to do so. Many victims narrated their ordeals to the government officials present and cried out for justice.
Sainey Senghor said he was a victim of April 10 & 11 massacre which has ruined his educational career and sent him on wheel chair.
Fatou Camara, who was arrested alongside Solo Sandeng, said she will never forget what had happened to them as they were subjected to degrading treatment by the security agents.
Landing Sanneh identified himself as a former member of the Gambia National Army from the years 1984 to 2000. He told the gathering that he witnessed the massacre of soldiers in 1994. He added that Jammeh led all executions and was always accompanied by senior officials. “I was convicted for 16 years” he said. He described Mile II Prison to an abattoir for ex-president Jammeh where he comes and picks people, kills them without due cause. “We were fed dead animals and in the year 2004 and 2005 about 61 inmates died” he said.
Nyang Sarang Jobe said she was with Deyda Hydara at the time he was murdered. She added that she was also shot on her knee prompting her treatment at the then Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital (now EFSTH) in Banjul for a week and was later taken to Dakar for further treatment.
Sambou Fatty told the gathering that he and his younger brother were abducted and detained by the NIA headquarters for 3 years, 4 months and 12 days. He averred that every night they were always punished by the NIA officials. “They are currently in the Government and I can identify all of them” he said. “We want not only Yankuba Badjie, the former Director of NIA to face justice but all his accomplices as well as that of the former President’s” he said.
Minister of Agriculture, Omar Amadou Jallow called on the Government to emulate the Ghanaian style of restoration which is to compensate victims and their families.
“Victims cannot remain as victims, they are to be compensated” he said.
He also narrated his ordeal with the former regime that his name was in the list of those that were to be executed.
“I am the only politician arrested 22 times in 22 years” he said.
He called on the center to work with the Government in order to channel ways of compensating victims or their families (if dead).
“We should Stop Glorifying and personalising our leaders” Minister Jallow mentioned.
“We are your servants and not Gods” he said.
‘People should understand that they voted for leaders in office to promote their welfare but not to torture or marginalise them”, he added.