UDP Reacts To Sonko’s Asylum Case


The United Democratic Party (UDP) is following with keen interest, reports that former Gambian Interior Minister Ousman Sonko has fled the country and reportedly seeking asylum in Sweden. The Diaspora wing of the UDP is working with partners and other Gambian activist groups to authenticate the veracity of reports of Sonko seeking asylum in Sweden.

If these reports are true, then we demand Ousman Sonko be arrested and appropriate steps taken to ensure that he does not escape justice.

Ousman Sonko is a person of special interest to the UDP and many other victims of The Gambia Government. He has been implicated in various cases of state sanctioned torture, rape, kidnappings, unexplained disappearances as well as systematic killings of political opponents and perceived enemies of the government he served for more than two decades both as a senior security operative and a cabinet minister.

Sweden will send a wrong signal to the civilized world by granting asylum to a suspected human rights abuser and a serial killer whose hands are soaked in the blood of innocent people. The UDP has already filed petitions with International Criminal Court and the Regional Community Court of West Africa alleging repeated and aggravated rape, systematic torture and abuse of its supporters by The Gambian government.

We have also submitted to the European Union and other governments and international bodies, a long list of names of individuals including but not limited to cabinet ministers, senior government officials, security personnel and business people and businesses that are aiding and abetting the killing and torture of innocent Gambians as well as the plunder of the country’s resources for sanctions and travel ban. Ousman Sonko’s name is naturally on top of that list.

We urge Sweden to particularly take due diligence and liaise with the Headquarters of the European Union about UDP’s petition and the role Ousman Sonko especially played in perpetuating more than two decades of merciless tyranny in The Gambia.

Just for the records:

In January 2000, Ousman Sonko who was a Captain then in President Yahya Jammeh’s elite forces (the Presidential Guards), presided over the killing of two of his colleagues, Lt Almamo Manneh and Corporal Dumbuya on allegation that they were involved in coup plot against the government. Sonko was immediately rewarded by the President and appointed him Commander of his elite forces.

In April of that same year, soldiers under Sonko’s command took part in the massacre of student demonstrators. The students came out in the streets to demand justice for a colleague who was tortured and brutally murdered by Fire Service Officers and a young school girl who was raped by security officers at a sporting event. The peaceful student demonstration turned violent when elite forces from the President’s personal body guards arrived at the scene and started spraying live bullets on innocent students killing 14 and wounding several others in the process.

Sonko remained the head of the Presidential Guards until 2005, supervising political repression perpetrated by forces under his command against members of the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP). He also personally commanded a militia attached to the presidency whose only job was and still is to kill, torture and disappear political opponents of President Yahya Jammeh and his ruling APRC party. This militia, commonly known as “The Junglars,” is particularly deadly and lethal.

Lawyers, journalists and conscientious citizens are all part of their radar for elimination. In December 2003, Ousman Sonko allegedly coordinated the attempted elimination of Gambia’s senior lawyer, Mr. Ousman Sillah who was shot several times while driving home from a social event. Almost a year later, “The Junglars” hit again this time killing respected Gambian journalist Deyda Hydra who was shot in a drive-by shooting. Although the Gambia government denied any involvement in the killing of Hydra, a former member of “The Junglars” now based in Germany who said he personally drove the journalist’s killers in a State House vehicle, narrated how Ousman Sonko coordinated the whole operation.

In the same period, newspapers, radio stations and private homes of journalists were firebombed in a deliberate attempt to suppress dissent and freedom of expression and of the media.

Shortly afterwards in 2005, Ousman Sonko was moved to the police as the Inspector General. His tenure as the police chief was a painful memory for the members of the force. The police force was purged of its senior and experienced members on allegation of disloyalty. Sonko was given a free hand to run the police recruiting school dropouts and members of the Southern Senegalese MFDC rebels from Cassamance who President Yahya Jammeh use as tool of brutality against The Gambian people.

But it was Ousman Sonko’s elevation to position of Minister of Interior in 2006 that actually brought out his vile character. By this time, Sonko was already a trusted member of President Yahya Jammeh’s inner circle of dreaded killers, torturers and corrupt officials looting and plundering Gambia’s merger resources.

Political opponents and perceived enemies even within the armed forces were setup and implicated in pointless coups. Many political enemies and innocent hardworking members of the security forces lost their lives or forced to flee the country as a result.

As Minister of Interior, Ousman Sonko particularly presided over the slaughter of 54 innocent Ghanaians and other West African nationals in 2006. These were young, innocent migrants on their way to Europe illegally when they were dumped at the Gambian border villages by people smugglers. The security forces intercepted and accused them of being mercenaries. They were killed in the most gruesome manner using machetes, hammers and pistols.

Just six months ago, in April 2016, a group of UDP youth supporters were rounded by the police for peacefully demanding electoral reform ahead of Gambia’s general elections scheduled to take place in December 2016. Led by UDP youth leader Mr Ebrima Solo Sandeng, the group of youths including women, was immediately transferred to the torture chambers at the notorious National Intelligence Agency (NIA) where they were brutally tortured. The women among them were seriously violated. Solo Sandeng was wilfully murdered by his torturers again under Ousman Sonko’s watch.

UDP leadership who also came out demanding the release of Solo and the youths dead or alive were also arrested and manhandled. Subsequent peaceful protests by UDP supporters demanding the release of their members were brutally suppressed by security forces receiving instructions from Sonko. Many of the innocent protesters were arrested and severely tortured and kept under inhumane conditions.

Ousman Sonko especially coordinated with prison authorities to toughen prison and detention conditions for members of the UDP in total violation of every decent instrument meant to protect the rights of detainees. UDP detainees were routinely denied medical treatment, home cooked food, right to read the Quran and attend congregational prayers during the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan. One of the detainees, Solo Krummah who was earlier hit on the head by his torturers died in hospital after repeatedly denying him medical attention. Requests by his family to have access to him on his dying bed were flatly rejected by prison authorities.

One of the key allies of President Yahya Jammeh, Ousman Sonko allegedly planned, masterminded and executed orders from the President to commit horrendous crimes against innocent Gambians with glee. He was unapologetic and unrepentant up to the time he was sacked from his job.

It is our position that those who wilfully committed such alleged crimes against humanity should be prosecuted rather than be granted political asylum. That would serve as a deterrent to others. Anything else would definitely be a disservice to the battered people of the Gambia who continue to endure the bridle use and misuse of state power through their blood and tears.

Thank you

UDP Diaspora Communications




  1. I am sure UDP is the only political party which will write such a press release to show the brutality of evil Ousman Sonko who cowardly left his wife behind and many of his bastards he had with so many women . This son of bitch and a bastard without a moral compass has jumped ship and left behind idiotic captain who will be captured soon. UDP is always fighting the good fight . Now that son of gun has cowardly left the country , Gambians must Make sure the rest of his life is hell . He is indeed very lucky to go to Sweden where they will give him diplomatic reception and he will be drinking tea or nice cocktail at good restaurant without someone putting a bullet in his ass or giving him hard time . He should have come to USA then he will regret why he fled from The Gambia . Jammeh knows how it is like to visit USA and this is why he cowardly assigned a useless woman to come to UN general assembly. Sonko is wanted dead or alive .

  2. His surname is not even Sonko! He has occupied a ministerial position with a false name! Wonders should cease amasing Gambians.
    The Swedish authorities and likes across Europe are not as disconnected to the Gambian affairs as in a few other E.U countries where exiled Africans are exploited and indignated for the simple reason that they did not get any better treatment from the misrulers in their home countries. I have seen somewhere in Europe where the Kairo News pages are monitored for terrorist threats, demonstrating those countries’ authorities lack of currency and interest in Africa’s political affairs. All such countries in the E.U should be imformed by the competent entities of the E.U in other not to offer assylum to Gambia’s state criminals.

  3. Unbiased Prince GB

    The “UDP PRESS RELEASE ON THE SUPPOSED ASYLUM CASE OF THE FORMER GAMBIAN INTERIOR MINISTER, MR OUSMAN SONKO” have left my wimps of attraction and interest in backing their political movement as mortified hence they seem more interested of being on the verge of revenge taking rather than concentrating on the main issues affecting us all as a nation and at most of hence it’s awfulness is likely to derail any opposition hopeful of defeating the evil regime in Banjul on the upcoming presidential election.

    By virtue of all augmentation of politics in the interest of Gambian public domains, they have by such moment of opportunity being apparently and within their reach, fail to take matters to opposition advantage but only bashing and lashing out of misunderstanding to the reasons of Ousman Sonko’s axing from poblic duties and not taking their time for all the natural perspectives to pan out in time for oppress Gambians’ empowerment.

    I meant, for such a big opposition political party like “United Democratic Party (UDP)” to be emotionally saying, ‘It’s with the keen interest of following on reports that former the Gambian Interior Minister Ousman Sonko has fled the country and reportedly seeking asylum in Sweden’, is a flow of directive to people wellbeing and interest of the Nation. They have indeed mislead themselves badly via emotional misconducts without enough consideration before hiking for the media headlines.

    you can agree with me or not but I believe the only opposition leader therefore, but capable of handling any situation that Gambians might face in the feature, yet left with the potentials of my backing for heading and leading us out small or mindlessness that many politicians like the UDP headquaters are refusing to deter from or do without, is Mr Mama Kandeh of GDC as it’s not courage that determines his leadership qualities but the steps that he takes to heal people’s misjudgement of others and what politics is all about.

    Politic is family coordination and public directives off utmost insanity and from any odds of taciturn, indifferent and timidity.


    • Mr. Sonko is a vital withness to most of the Jammeh regime’s atrocities including of recent, the torture and killing of the Udp youth leader, Solo Sandeng, and the illegal jailing of the UDP leader, Ousainou Darboe and the whole of his party’s executive membership.
      Restoring democracy has the tendency to revenge when its process gets illegally toppled by dictators. That revenge is when the culprits taste their crimes like a medicine to their cure. The swedish authorities got to be given every imformation about the bigwigs of the Jammeh horrible regime.

    • You are Off the point. I commend the UDP diaspora for pursuing such people like ousman Sonko who have committed serious human rights violation. You sound like Gano.
      However this pursuing has nothing to do with revenge. It is about justice, in the absence of which democracy is impossible.

      • Hey look @Kinteh, don’t tell me I sound like Gano! This has gotten very up my nerves. I just got a bit confused with @Unbiased Prince GB’s learn-how-to-read comment but I haven’t seen myself off the point basically.
        Are you and advocate like Luntango su Gaan Khi?
        Isn’t it what I am saying too….? That the revenge in this case will be done for the Gambians by democracy’s processes. That I meant by the culprits taste their crimes like medicine to their cure. No one is talking like he’s desiring a bloody revenge bro.

        If I go off the point next time, please pat me up and never again say I sound like Gano.O.K! Gaaano?? come on…. I know very few people in person in the public domains. Gano is not one of them. I just saw him for the first time in the picture to carefully read his smile, with the Alh. mad professor and doc.himself.

        • Sorry Bourne,

          My reply was to the unbiased Prince’s notion that the UDP is out for revenge and Mr. Kandeh is Jesus. For comparing you to Ex-army Gano, due to wrong posting, I do regret. You don’t deserve that because you don’t sound like him.

          • Oh……, Thanks very much bro for undoing the confusion. I am very much relieved by your apology. That means we accept the fact we are not of cutting edge perfection so therefore there is the likelihood of owing each other apologies. I konw some folks in the debates who could have said something like, ‘If you look at my comment, you will see that it is not responding to anyone named Bourne’.

  4. Bourne….

    It was as plain as “A,B,C” that Kinteh was reacting to the Unbiased Prince…How you failed to see that says volumes, doesn’t it..?

    Kinteh is a gent, but he needn’t say “sorry” because the “confusion” is not of his making..The confusion is yours, pal..


    Political parties are National Institutions that have similarities but are different, and each is unique, in its own rights, independent of the others, and operates according to the standards it sets for itself. It is wrong, prejudiced and biased, to always try to “marry” the actions of one party with the criteria that define opposition politics across the board.

    Ousman Sonko’s alleged attempts to seek asylum in Sweden is just a rumour that has not been confirmed yet, and even the UDP Statement acknowledged that much. However, the UDP has a right to react to unconfirmed reports, as it wishes, whilst others may prefer to establish the facts of the rumour first, before they react.

    The UDP also has the right to put statements on the matter in the public domain, before it has established the facts of the rumour (as it has done here), whilst others may wish to address their concerns to the appropriate authorities in Sweden, once the facts are established. So, stop this nonsensical claim of UDP is the only party “this or that” based on your biased judgements..

    Without disputing the alleged defection of Ousman Sonko, I think people need to exercise caution where Yaya Jammeh and his APRC propaganda machine is concerned. Who is to say that this is not a plan to discredit the opposition/diaspora and paint them as liars. ? What will happen if Ousman Sonko turns up at an APRC gathering tomorrow..? Can’t you see that it puts the credibility of those who claimed that he’s fled into question. ? With elections just round the corner, can anybody put such devilish plans beyond Yaya Jammeh .?

    I think the wise thing to do is to establish the facts first, and then react accordingly. That is what I will expect a National Institution to do.

    • Sorry for not seeing mess like this in time. Isn’t this that most of us think about folks like you; that you are indoctrinators who love crawling under people’s skin. What the hell do you in this one. It is plain as A,B,C you said. I hope you have that ability in making youir writings as plain as ABC. How the hell do you know Kinteh is not referring to me when Kinteh himself acknowledged a fault in his posting. I have said it before that folks like you will jump to say I am not talking to you but Mr. Kinteh so far so good has demonstrated exemplary maturity in his political discourses unlike the apparently confused Doy self-graduated nerds.
      In a country full of idiots, one may think it to be cunning of a ruling government to behave in such a way. And you demonstrate your idiocy to think that Ousman Sonko can be in Sweden on a normal travel trip for the Aprc’s good. Is such a political hypocrisy of an incumbent government even sophisticated enough to threaten or impress anyone as party politics at all. Let him come to Sweden and go back to Gambia and see what good that imports for him and the Aprc.

    • Bax, you and your fellow dishonest disciples will never admit the truth even When it is shown to you in plain sight . The fact that you have raise a doubt that poisons Ousman sonko might not even be in Sweden and can even shown up in The Gambia , is ludicrous and absurd . if You think mr Sonko’s escape is a plan by Yaya Jammeh then you must be having a day dream . You only behave in such manner when the regime officials are trouble then you are quick to offer your sympathy and conspiracy theories .