A junior brother of the Gambia’s murdered opposition electoral activist says the country’s exiled leader “doesn’t deserve freedom.” Ebrima Solo Sandeng, the father of 11, was tortured to death after his April 14 arrest.
“Yahya Jammeh doesn’t deserve freedom,” Kebba Sandeng says, believing “there is high probability that the horrific crimes of the former regime have to do with Yahya Jammeh ‘s plans to remain in power by all means.”
The late Sandeng’s son wants justice for all the victims of Jammeh’s 22-year dictatorial rule. Muhammed thinks justice will provide closure to the victims and their families.
Calls for the Barrow government to try Jammeh and his partners in crime fill the air following the upholding of the life imprisonment of former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre in Senegal. Gambians are not settling for anything other than seeing Jammeh and his bad guys being held accountable for their crimes. Gambian authorities are now facing a rising demand for justice, with many wanting Yahya Jammeh indicted instead of being left to enjoy the golden exile in Equatorial Guinea.
The dramatic events of April 14, 2016, which led to the arrest and death in custody of United Democratic Party Organising Secretary, was the catalyst that provoked the democratic movement that put an end to the Jammeh brutality.
The new government has increasingly exposed Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year ‘reign of terror’. Victims’ families have reacted swiftly, pushing for Jammeh to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Under the Jammeh regime, the quest for justice was impossible in a country where authorities criminalised dissent. Even a mere attempt to stage a peaceful protest without permit is tantamount to breach of the law.
President Adama Barrow vows to right the wrongs of the past. He sees salvation in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and reparations to victims. But the quest for justice seems to transcend the issue of reconciliation as a major part of peace.
Abdoulie Bojang, who lost his son Lamin Bojang during the sad events of April 10 -11, 2000 that had left at least 14 students dead, argues: “there cannot be peace without justice.” Mr. Bojang believes that
“only justice can help to bring back trust in the country’s institutions.”
Abdoulie is still at pains of having their voices suppressed by Yahya Jammeh. “We were even denied the right to remember them!” he exclaims.
The mother of Cpt Njaga Jagne who died in the December 30 state house attack re-echoes similar sentiments. Aja Yassin Jobe explains how her grandson was paralyzed by a bullet during the bloody April 2000 student demonstration.
“Those behind this act should face justice. Yahya Jammeh cannot go scot-free,” she said, exhibiting the portraits of her loved ones.
In a report released Mid-April, Human Rights Watch urged Gambian authorities to prosecute those linked to serious crimes committed during Jammeh’s 22-year rule .
“Fair trials are crucial for victims and their families and for building respect for the rule of law in the country,” Human Rights Watch writes.
I am also of the opinion that, provided Jammeh were to remain at large unaccounted for and should come back to the country as a free man, the victims and/or families of victims, have a justification to take the laws into their own hands and seek redress on their own terms.
To avoid such lynch justice, the authorities must ensure that Jammeh and conspirators are brought to book.
Well said brother Kemo. I hope the authority heed to your opinion. The victims families should see that justice served no later but sooner. One may said that is retribution or pay back or witch hunting whatever some will call it but we have to be in those victims families’ shoes before we deny or say something like forgive the brutal dictator YAHYA AJJ JAMMEH and his co heinous evil crimes against humanity. Jammeh’s victims deserve justice and at least compensation by the government of the Gambia. Jammeh doesn’t deserve freedom or to walk freely in the streets of the Gambia. In fact, Yahya Ajj jammeh’s main intention to come back to power or having one of his puppet take over the power illegal. Jammeh is not thinking about coming and be a free man because he knows that is very risks. So he wants ECOMIG force out first so that some of his die hard loyalists within the GAF can either overthrow Barrow’s government or cause destabilize the Gambia. New government of president Adama Barrow should be very careful not to say goodbye to ECOMIG FORCES yet because the GAF have so many jammeh’s diehard loyalists within GAF.