Victim Recalls April Student Massacre

‘Students killing should not be put under carpet’

Abdoukarim JammehA victim of the Gambia’s April 10 and 11, 2000 student protest has renewed his call for justice, insisting that the “massacre of students must not be buried under the carpet.”

Trigger-happy security officers shot dead 13 students and a journalist Omar Barrow in Serekunda and elsewhere 14 years back. The murders followed a peceful protest by student over the alleged killing and raping of their colleagues by security forces.

“Justice should prevail for the victims of the student carnage,” Abdoukarim Jammeh told our Banjul correspondent. He recalled that the “peaceful student demonstration” followed attempts by the now defunct Gambia Students Union’s (GAMSU) demand for justice in the alleged killing of Ebrima and rape of a Brikamaba school girl at the Independence Stadium. In both cases, security officers were accused of committing the crime.

“The April 10 and 11 events are so unfortunate and sorrowful, which is why those who have been indicted by the inquiry commission should be brought to book. Justice needs to take its course,” he said, appealing to Gambian authorities set aside the days as National Holiday of Mourning the fallen victims.

Jammeh sustained gunshot wounds during the student protest, and has since been living with pains.

“The Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital and Senegal’s Major hospital both recommended for oversea treatment for my knee surgery, but still no help to facilitate my travel,” he explained, calling individuals, companies or philanthropist organizations to assist him to undergo overseas treatment.

Abdoukarim Jammeh’s gunshots wounds became so severe that he was forced to drop out of school. He has been supporting himself with a chain to walk. “As Muslims, we are taught to forgive, but the days [April 10 and 11] can never be forgotten. It has affected me seriously for a long time now and the issue has been put to silence. We should remember those fallen colleagues and pray for their souls to rest in eternal peace,” he said.