More than 20 British lawmakers have signed a motion calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to add his country’s support for an immediate international inquiry into the Gambia’s April 10 and 11 student massacres.
At least 14 unarmed Gambian students were shot to death by trigger-happy security officers in April 2000 while launching a peaceful protest against mistreatment meted out to their colleagues. Also limping with the trauma of the April carnage are the likes of Abdoukarim Jammeh, Yusupha Mbye, Sainey Senghore and others who have since been nursing their injuries.
Motion 1287, tabled at the House of Commons by Labour Party lawmaker Katy Clark, got the backing of all the parties in Parliament. The motion urged the United Kingdom government to work with the United Nations and others to establish a database of evidence with a view to finding future justice and accountability. It also urged the Cameron government to actively consider every possible mechanism for accountability of the April 10 and 11 massacre and other reported killings that occurred in the Gambia since President Yahya Jammeh took over power in July 1994. Lawmakers touted the establishment of an “ad hoc tribunal on the Gambia’s unfinished massacres.”
The Parliament recalled with repugnance the biggest single attack inflicted by Gambian security forces on innocent students only to be granted amnesty by the Gambia’s rubber-stamping Parliament. UK lawmakers faulted the Gambia government for granting amnesty to murders and their accomplices and its unwillingness to implement the recommendations of both the Coroner’s Inquest. They called on the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague to demand a full account of the events on April 10 and 11, 2000 from the Gambia government.
House of Common deputies renewed their calls for “targeted sanctions against President Jammeh and his immediate circle.” These include asset freeze, visa ban and the imposition of arm embargo on arm sales to the Gambia government.” parliamentarians, who congratulated the UK Campaign for Human Rights in the Gambia for raising public awareness about the human rights situation in Gambia, wish to encourage European Union countries to punish the dictatorial Gambian regime for inflicting gross violations of human rights on its own people.