Gambia’s current foreign minister Momodou Tangara who had also served as a foreign minister during the Jammeh regime is alleged to have been involved in attempted kidnapping and possible deportation and killing of Gambian journalists. Mr. Tangara was Gambia’s representative to the United Nations during the Jammeh regime until the time the dictator was defeated in the 2016 presidential elections.
Mr. Tangara’s alleged involvement in these activities was revealed by a Gambian Journalist Ndey Tapha Sosseh who was testifying before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) on Thursday July 11, 2019. Ms Ndey Tapha Sosseh was one time the President of the Gambia Press Union who also worked with the West African Journalists Association WAJA. Ndey was a media activists who had kept the former regime of Jammeh’s assault on Gambian journalists and other gross human rights violations. Ndey was extensively involved in advocating against the regime’s human rights violations and had traveled across the subregion to engage ECOWAS member states on the human rights and media oppression issues that was going on in the Gambia.
In a chilling testimony at the TRRC, Ms Sosseh who now enjoys dual Malian and Gambian citizenship narrated stories of several attempts of kidnapping and killings of Gambian journalists and activists by the former junta regime of Yahya Jammeh. She recalled a particular incident in Harare Zimbabwe where she was detained and was going to be deported to the Gambia – a country she fled and was wanted for treason. She revealed that then Gambia’s foreign minister Tangara who is the current Barrow appointed foreign minister was personally involved in arranging for her kidnapping and deportation to the Gambia.
Discussing a meeting Ms Sosseh had with a ‘Jungler’ (former Jammeh hit men) in Dakar, Ndey said the Jungler told her several attempts to trail Gambian journalists in other countries to kidnap and deport them to the Gambia. The alleged jungler also narrated several other incidents and attempts to kill Ms, Sosseh and other Gambian journalists who were on a hit list. Ms Sosseh continued her testimony as we go to press…
Mr. Momodou Tangara who many Gambians knew to have been an emissary of the former dictator Yahya Jammeh in his crimes against humanity was appointed as Foreign minister of the Gambia by the current President Adama Barrow. Many citizens of the Gambia expressed reservation on this appointment because of concerns that the minister may have been implicated in many illegal activities against Gambian citizens. Despite the outcry the current president heavily invested in his political future failed to heed to the concerns of citizens and human rights activists against the appointment of former regime elements.
What is even more disturbing about Ms Sosseh’s testimony is that there may be evidence of Mr. Tangara’s movement and or visits to foreign countries during this period to orchestrate the kidnapping of citizens in direct contravention with International human rights law. It is for the same alleged crimes of kidnapping, torture and killings that the former interior minister Ousman Sonko is still being detained in Switzerland Europe. Former government officials who are alleged to have been involved in human rights violations must not be trusted to represent the Gambia government especially at International diplomatic platforms. With this revelation, Gambian president Adama Barrow need to reconsider the appointment of such elements until such time that their names are cleared from the alleged crimes. This is a developing story as more Gambian journalists are testifying before the TRRC.
By Demba Baldeh Gainako Associate editor
Video credit (Qtv)