Gambia: 14 to Be Prosecuted Over Killing of W/African Migrants

According to the government White Paper on the TRRC recommendations, Yahya Jammeh, his enablers and accomplices will be prosecuted for their roles in the “unlawful killings” and “cover-up of the West African Migrants.”

These enablers and accomplices include; Yahya Jammeh, Ousman Sonko, Solo Bojang, Malick Jatta (Alfidie), Sanna Manjang, Kawsu Camara (Bombardier), Tumbul Tamba, Bai Lowe, Nuha Badjie, Landing Tamba, Alieu Jeng, Omar A. Jallow (Oya), Buboucarr Jallow, and Lamin Sillah.

The commission revealed that on 22 July 2005, over 67 economic migrants (including 50 Ghanaians, 7 Nigerians, 2 Senegalese, 3 Ivoirians, and 2 Togolese) entered The Gambia hoping to get to Europe via the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. They were advised by their agents to travel to The Gambia where a boat would be on standby to transport them to Europe. However, upon arrival, their agent/smuggler abandoned them. Many of the migrants were subsequently detained, perceived as mercenaries, arrested, and executed by Gambian State Agents comprising the Marine Unit, Police officers from the now-defunct National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and the ‘Junglers’. The execution site was by an old well.

The Gambia government accepted the commission’s recommendation to ban Yankuba Sonko and Malamin Ceesay from holding public office with the Gambia government for 10 years for their roles in covering up of the killings of the West African migrants.

The government also accepts to establish an international joint investigation team (Joint Forensic Investigation Team) based in The Gambia, which would comprise forensic investigators and scientists from The Gambia, Ghana, Senegal, and Nigeria, with the relevant skills, training, and background to carry out the following tasks:

Without delay;

identify the exact locations where the victims were buried, including the wells and graves mentioned by the witnesses that are located in both The Gambia and also in Cassamance, Senegal;

take all reasonable steps to ensure the security and full protection of all the sites where the remains were buried and yet to be exhumed for the purposes of protecting the human remains therein and from tampering with the evidence;

Be given the mandate to exhume and conserve the remains of the victims that may be found in those wells or graves;

be given the full cooperation of the Gambian authorities, including full access to all documentary, testimonial and physical information and evidence in their possession that the Joint Forensic Investigation Team deems relevant to the inquiry;

the Government of The Gambia to undertake without delay the steps, measures and arrangements necessary for the speedy establishment and full functioning of the Joint Forensic Investigation Team, including recruiting impartial and experienced staff with relevant skills and expertise;

and the Government of the Gambia to establish procedures for carrying out the activities of the Joint Forensic Investigation Team taking into account the Gambia’s relevant laws and judicial procedures.

The government also accepts to put in place modern mechanisms, procedures, and facilities for all security institutions to ensure that all vital data and information collected by the police in the course of investigations are properly maintained and preserved.

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