By Yankuba Jallow
Abdoulie Bojang, a resident of Jambur has told the TRRC that the 2009 witch-hunting activity claimed 18 lives, leaving several on sickbed.
Bojang appeared before the Truth Commission on Thursday, 21stNovember 2019 on their last day of the regional hearings in Jambur. The commission will be in Sibanor on Monday.
The 61 – year – old gave the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) the list he prepared containing the names of the people of his community who were abducted and given concoction by witch-hunters under the auspices of former President Yahya Jammeh. He said he got the names of the victims from Foroyaa Newspaper publication dated 9 to 10th February 2009 with the heading “Jamburians Narrate Ordeal – 60 Taken Away, Including the Imam” and the personal inquiry he made at that time.
The mandate of TRRC is to investigate past human rights abuses and violations under the self-perpetuated rule of former President Jammeh, promote healing and reconciliation, provide victims with the opportunity to relate their own accounts of abuses suffered and in appropriate cases grant reparation to victims.
Bojang served the Gambia Police Force from 1977 to 1983 when he resigned and picked up a job with the American Embassy.
Bojang said the witch-hunting activity wherein 62 people from Jmabur were abducted happened on the 28th January 2009. He said these people were abducted by Yahya Jammeh’s witch-hunters who were escorted by armed men. He said the people were taken to Kololi where they were made to drink concoction.
“Jambur has no witches. I was born here and I grew up here. We don’t know any witch and I am right now 61. We don’t have witches here,” he said.
He said the witch-hunt activity has brought the community damages that no person can quantify. He said their elders were put to shame and subjected to inhumane treatment by the witch-hunters. He said their Imam and the Village Development Committee (VDC) Chairman both lost their lives because they couldn’t survive the effect of the concoction that they were given by the witch-hunters.
“No one can estimate the damages caused by the witch-hunting activity on our community. We lost our loved ones. They were important to the community. There are several of the survivors on sickbed,” he said.
Bojang told the Commission that one of his sons, Lamin Bojang was shot by paramilitary personnel during the April 2000 students’ demonstration. He said Lamin was his first son and at the time of his demise, he was 18 and at grade 11 at Nusrat High School. Bojang said his son was shot on his head above the right ear.