Former Hitmen Implicate Ex-Gambia Dictator
A sreenshot of TRRC lead counsel Essa Faal questioning Staff Sgt.Amadou Badjie at Gambia Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, July 25, 2019 It’s been a dramatic week for Gambia.
. As Gambians stayed glued to their radios and TVs, three admitted henchmen of former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh implicated him before the country’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) in a series of political killings. Under the sharp questioning of TRRC lead counsel Essa Faal, Lt. Malick Jatta, Sgt. Omar Jallow, and Staff Sgt. Amadou Badjie – former members of the “Junglers,” Jammeh’s elite hit-squad – named their ex-boss in a series of crimes that they claimed to have carried out, including: The witnesses also said that they participated in the strangling death of Haruna Jammeh, Jammeh’s cousin, as well as the torture of the outspoken cleric Imam Baba Leigh and the 2012 execution of nine prison inmates, among other actions.
These revelations come a month after Human Rights Watch and TRIAL International reported that three Gambian woman, including former pageant queen Fatou (“Toufah”) Jallow, accused Jammeh of sexually assaulting them. Ms. Jallow will testify before the TRRC later this year. It was painful for the victims’ family members, with whom I work , to listen to the testimony of the killers of their loved ones, but they recognized that these revelations are a huge step toward justice and the day that they might sit across a courtroom from Yahya Jammeh, who now lives in Equatorial Guinea. As Deyda Hydara’s son Baba Hydara told me: “It wasn’t easy to go through it, but this shows that we are on the right path and that justice i.
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