Execution of 50 West Africans Under Investigation in The Gambia

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By Yusupha Jobe and Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT

Human Rights Watch Dogs and Victims of former President Yahya Jammeh claim that he ordered the execution of more than Forty Ghanaian and Nigerian migrants including Gambian citizens through his “Junglers” Death Squad. The International Community and Dictator Jammeh’s Victims are insisting that he must be extradited and stand trial. Yahya Jammeh’s Junglers were a private army armed to their teeth.

The Junglers are well known in the Gambia for taking orders directly from the President Yahya Jammeh himself. According to statements from 11 officers involved its reported that in 2005, the execution of 50 ECOWAS citizens was ordered by Jammeh on the haunch that the migrants who had mostly travelled via boat from Ghana were paid mercenaries to overthrow his government.

A press conference was held at The Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations in Kotu on May 17th 2018 organised under the campaign #Jammeh2Justice (J2J) which brought together victims of the former regime and international human rights such as The Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations, Institution for Human Right and Development in Africa, the Coalition for Change Gambia (CCG), The Associaton of Non Governmental Organisations, EG justice of Equatorial Guinea, Trial international Switzerland, the International Justice Chambers, Aids-free world and Le foundation pour L’egalite’ des chances en Afrique.

Speaking to the press at the conference Information Minister who also acts as the spokesperson for the Gambian Government told the Gainako News that the coalition Government will cooperate with any request from the Ghanaian Government in order to reveal the truth about the killings of both Ghanaians and Nigerian citizens in the country in 2005.

The forty-four Ghanaians and a number of other nationals including Nigerians amounting to fifty have been allegedly killed by the former armed squad of president Jammeh known as the junglers. He said Meanwhile the bulletin of the UN Department of public affairs said that ECOWAS/UN report never made public, and concluded that the Gambian government was not ‘’directly or indirectly involved in the death and disappearances but rather elements in its security services acting on their own’’ were probably responsible for the killings ‘’The Government of the Gambia despite all challenges in revealing the truth is set to cooperate with its Ghanaian counterpart and any other institution that wants to investigate the atrocities of the former regime.’’ He said

He mentioned that the motive of bringing the former President to justice against the inhumane crimes he had committed prompted the commissioning of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation commission where also he said victims of the second republic will be assured justice and financial compensation.

Also speaking Madi Jobarteh advocacy and coordinator of the campaign #Jammeh2justice said since the launched of the campaign in October 2017 many human rights institutions were brief on the current needs of the Jammeh victims. He said victims of the former Government deserve a fair and transparent human right justice that will forever give them a comfortable life to live on. ‘’The victims have to be assured that the hardship and mental sufferings they have gone through in many years will surely be cured and given the justice that they all deserved to have’’ he said.

Martin Kyere, the sole known Ghanaian survivor, the family of Saul Ndow and many other Jammeh victims shared the unforgettable physical and mental suffering they continue to endure and urged the responsible institution to be more responsive in assisting them to get a quick and fair justice they deserve.

In 2009, the Government of The Gambia and Ghana signed a memorandum of understanding acknowledging that The Gambian Government was not complicit in the killings but would make contributions to the families as a humanitarian gesture. In compensating the killed families The Gambia paid $500,000 US Dollars to the Ghanaian Government which gave 10,000 Ghana cedis and roughly US 6,800 at a rate in 2009 to each of the 27 affected families.

In the meantime, both Ghana and The Gambia have pledged to pursue through all available means the arrest and prosecution of all those involved in the deaths and disappearances of the Ghanaians and other ECOWAS nationals to face justice.

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