By Victim Led Organisations and Gambian CSOs
The Victims of the April 10th and 11th 2000 Student Massacre which killed some 15 people and maimed over 20 others will be taking place tomorrow, 11th April 2023 at the Westfield Youth Monument from 7 pm.
On April 10 and 11, 2000, students peacefully protesting their grievances in the Gambia were met with a violent response from state security forces resulting in the deaths of 14 students and one Red Cross Volunteer and the injury and maiming of many more. The incident shocked the nation but under the repressive rule of the then government of Yahya Jammeh, little was done to repair the victims or attain justice and accountability. Twenty-three (23) years later, victims and families are still suffering from the consequences of the incident.
Survivors of the massacre, with support from various civil society organisations, are commemorating the April 10 and 11, 2000 incident at the Westfield Youth Monument on April 11, 2023 – to remember those who lost their lives, the survivors who were maimed for life, and also remind the State of its obligations to ensure accountability, provide reparations and implement legal and institutional reforms to address this gross human rights violation and put in place guarantees of non-repetition.
The 2000 student massacre and the lack of accountability and timely provision of reparations for victims and survivors continue to be a concern. Furthermore, the continued use of excessive force by security officials on young people and the public at large, also highlight the need for legal and institutional reforms to ensure the protection of human rights. By bringing together various stakeholders, this commemoration is an opportunity to raise awareness of the antecedent factors impact and consequences of a myriad of rights violations which preceded or resulted from the incident of April 10 and 11, 2000. Overall, the commemoration will promote justice, accountability, and human rights in the Gambia.
- For Victims/survivors to engage stakeholders on their rights, needs and expectations
- To remember the victims of the 2000 student massacre in the Gambia and what they stood for
- To take note of the survivors who continue to suffer consequences
- To demand and remind the state of its obligation to provide reparations to the victims
- To highlight the structural, legal and policy issues that allowed the massacre to happen
- To urge for legal and institutional reforms that would ensure the protection of human rights and prevent its repetition
- To highlight the incident’s connection to SGBV and raise awareness of its impact
- Organize an open Iftar (Ndogu) at the Westfield Youth Monument on April 11, 2023, for participants to come together and break bread, fostering community and solidarity and pray for the departed.
- For victims to put across their experiences, highlight their needs and demand their rights to reparative measures, to invited State officials.
- Talk about political, legal and policy issues connected to the incident, and the urgency of legal and institutional reforms to non-repetition.
- Invite a government representative to speak on the state’s plans to provide reparations to the victims of the massacre.
- Talk about the SGBV elements of the human rights violations of April 10 and 11, 2000.
- Increased awareness of the 2000 student massacre in the Gambia and its impact on victims and survivors.
- Recognition and commitment by the Gambian government, to provide speedy and comprehensive reparations to the victims and survivors of the massacre.
- Greater awareness of the link between such incidents and SGBV
- Increased demand for legal and institutional reforms that would protect human rights and the rights of young people in the country.
- Greater solidarity among victims and civil society organizations in the Gambia in advocating for human rights and justice for victims and survivors.