EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: The man whose 22-year rule of The Gambia was marred by a cloud of fear and gross human rights violation is wanted back in the country from hiding in Equatorial Guinea to face justice for the crimes committed during his tenure.
Tons of allegation, including torture, killing, rape and corruption have been already placed against Yahya Jammeh but his Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) party loyalists are demanding for his return as a free man. They have also request the government, AU, Ecowas and the UN to respect the agreement they had with Mr Jammeh before his going into exile in 2017.
A march was held in the country’s biggest town of Serrekunda today to amplify call for Mr Jammeh to be brought to justice and for him to be arrested immediately, anytime he returns to the country.
The march was organised by the Gambia Center for Victims of Human rights violation; a civil society organisation mainly victims of former President Jammeh’s regime or their family members.
With the slogan #Jammeh to Justice, the victims were joined by thousands of Gambians wearing t-shirts and holding placards with writing like bring back the exhumed bodies.
The march for Jammeh to be brought to justice was fueled by his party militants request for him to come home as a freeman which angered the alleged victims, saying they are mourning the brutal killing of their loved ones while his supporters are calling for his return.
The United Democratic Party (UDP) leader and secretary General Ousainou Darboe, who himself is a Jammeh victim also participated in the march and told journalists that they want Mr Jammeh to come and face prosecution. “There is no reason why Yahya Jammeh will not be prosecuted for the rape of Toufah Jallow and no reason why he should not be prosecuted for murder of those armless fourteen student protesters.”
To him, the march shows that they are not in disagreement with those who are calling for Jammeh’s return, saying, “let him come and face prosecution.”
He called it a rubbish for anyone to believe that Gambia did not have the legal talent to prosecute Jammeh. “Let him just come; we will all be part of the prosecution team,” he said.
Board chairman of the victim’s center, Sheriff Muhammed Kijera, read the petition on behalf of victims and said under Jammeh’s rule, the enjoyment of rights and freedoms were curtailed and crushed, while journalists were illegally jailed.
He said other human right violation that occurred during Mr Jammeh’s era include, corruption, saying the continuous presence of Jammeh enablers and alleged perpetrators in government positions made the victims unhappy.
“We welcome the justice minister’s statement at the 2020 legal year opening that Jammeh will face immediate arrest when he came to the country. The testimonies at the TRRC is a clear manifestation that gross human right violations indeed happened in The Gambia.”
He said victims continue to raise concerns and that despite testimonies at the TRRC, that was established to investigate the human rights violation that occurred during Mr Jammeh’s rule, there are still denial from some people who are requesting for his return.