Of Alagie Kanyi’s Murder Confession

It is evidently clear that the ongoing Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Conmission is achieving its goals of establishing facts about the crimes that happened during Yahya Jammeh’s 22 years of dictatorship. It was just few days ago that Gambians started becoming emotional about the testimony of star witness, Abdoulie J. Darboe, who explained how he was tasked with carrying the corpse of the late Lt. Basiru Barrow. One of the most striking part of Darboe’s testimony was his inability to recover emotionally, psychologically and economically, for he had since doing everything to put food on the table of a family of seven. But the tevealing testimony of Sgt. Alagie Kanyi became even more striking. Kanyi painstakingly painted a picture of the November 11th 1994 abortive coup. In that he confessed to the extrajudicial killings of soldiers accused of involvement in the coup. These included Kanyi’s Jarra brothers: Lt. Basiru Barrow, Basiru Camara and Lt. Momodou Darboe. Kanyi also confessed to have participated in the murder of then Finance Minister Ousman Koro Ceesay in 1995. Sgt. Kanyi, who admitted shooting the lifeless bodies of Lt. Barrow and Lt. Fata Nyang at close range, said the morning of November 11, 1994, all soldiers were armed and ammunitions were scattered everywhere. Kanyi confirmed his participation in three extrajudicial killings. He said taking part in the killings was the only option he had at the time. Sgt. Alagie Kanyi’s testimony said the events have left their mark on his soul to the extent that he would only sleep after offering prayers. In between sobs, Kanyi regretted his crimes and sought forgiveness to the entire Gambians, especially Jarrankas. Kanyi’s testimony signals that the road to finding the truth can be scary. But families of the victims deserve to know the truth which will lead to closure. The TRRC startling revelations — painful and striking as they are becoming — will give Gambians the brutal nature of the Jammeh dictatorship.


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