By Kebba Jeffang
The Gambia’s Justice Ministry on Tuesday April 10th, said the country is committed to establish the truth about the circumstances leading to the death of fourteen students while leaving many others with permanent disabilities. In a statement issued by the Ministry of Justice on the anniversary of the 10/11 April 2000 School killings, “the Ministry re-iterates the commitment of the new Government to establish the whole TRUTH about the circumstances that led to the death of unarmed students,” the statement indicated; that 10 and 11 April, 2000 was perhaps the darkest chapter of the 22 year rule of the former government of President Yahya Jammeh.
“In broad daylight, gunmen shot and killed numerous unarmed school children who were exercising their Constitutional rights to freedom of expression and assembly, by protesting the manner of investigations into crimes allegedly committed against two of their colleagues,” it stated.
The Ministry faults the reaction of the security forces for clamping down on peaceful protesters.
“Several survivors of the incident have been maimed for life while others have lived a life of exile in genuine fear of harm to them and their families by former Government agents,” it added.
It stated that they are confident that, inter alia, the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission shall provide a unique opportunity to establish the truth about the many unanswered questions surrounding the incident.
“We remain hopeful that appropriate lessons will be drawn in order to prevent a recurrence of such egregious crimes in this country again,” the statement concluded.