The Jerreh Sittanunku Development Association (JSDA) wishes to register its solidarity with the families of all victims of Sittanunku origin concerning the brutality and injustices that they have been subjected to by the government of Yahya Jammeh.
It is public knowledge that Sittanunku village, Upper Niumi District, North Bank Region, is part of many settlements that suffered miserably during the 22 years misrule of the previous regime.
Three gallant sons of village who diligently served in the national army were killed extra judicially and many others forced to go on exile after being accused by Jammeh and his thugs for plotting to overthrow his government. They include the following:
Cadet Amadou Sillah, a brilliant soldier accused of allegedly taking part in the purported attempted coup of 11 November 1994. He was killed without availing him the opportunity to a free and fair trial before a competent court of law thereby violating his human rights.
Staff Sergeant Almamo Manneh, a key figure in the July 1994 revolution, was also accused of plotting a coup against Jammeh together with Lieutenant Sanneh in January 2000. He was also manhandled and subsequently killed without availing him opportunity to a free and fair trial before a competent court of law thereby violating his human rights.
Lieutenant Lamin F Jammeh (LF Jammeh), another key figure of the July 1994 revolution, was also accused of taking part in the 11th November 1994 coup and the attack on Kartong military barracks. He was brought before a law court and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment. To the disappointment of all, he was executed during Jammeh’s August 2012 execution of the nine prison inmates at Mile Two. He was therefore killed without availing him opportunity to a free and fair death sentence hearing before a competent court of law thereby violating his human rights.
These are different from the myriad of sons of Sittanunku who fled The Gambia of Yahya Jammeh due to threats on their lives. These include Ebrima (Borry) Manneh who was forced to leave Gambia since 1994, after escaping an attack at his house in Brikama by soldiers from the State House.
It is against this background that the entire membership of JSDA welcomes the fall of APRC regime and the keen commitment demonstrated so far by the new government to set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission which will investigate the causes and consequences of these atrocities and where appropriate, offer reparations for families of the victims.
Similarly, we also appreciate the efforts being made by the government to investigate all other arbitrary killings and disappearances that took place during the Jammeh-era.
However, though we are cognizant of the fact that certain criminal investigations takes time, we are calling on the government to expedite the investigations with a view to bring the perpetrators to book because justice delayed is justice denied.
The people of Sittanunku, The Gambia and indeed, all human right defenders the world over want to see that justice is done and justice is served to the families of victims all over the country. This is important because these families have suffered so long since the demise of their loved ones and breadwinners.
We therefore plead with the new government and the international community to consider the plight of all concerned families by bringing those responsible for these heinous crimes to justice and ensure that all beneficiary families receive fair compensations for their forever lost loved
It is in recognition of the above that we stand together as people of Sittanunku and The Gambia, united in solidarity with the families of our fallen countrymen and women and demand that justice be seen to be done and be done expeditiously.
Jerreh Sittanunku Development Association (JSDA) is a registered non-profit, nonreligious and non-partisan community development organisation in Niumi Sittanunku, Upper Niumi District in North Bank Region.
The association was formed by people of Nuimi Sittanunku decent both in the Kombos and Sittanunku about three years ago.
The association works to, among other things, support socio-economic development of the Village in all areas including education, health, agriculture, culture, and sports.
JSDA also hopes to strengthen the bond of unity, mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation among youth of the village, and complement efforts of government and the village authority in the promotion of a just and prosperous rural community.
The association has a board of advisers whose mandates include providing strategic guidance and thoughtful advice to ensure that the association remains true to its aims and objectives.
JSDA Executive Committee