EYEAfrica TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA: The Minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambadou has said that the ongoing criminal trial is the cause of the delay in the handing over the remains of Solo Sandeng which were exhumed and identified.
He added that government is committed to establishing the truth about all disappeared victims and that they will continue to pursue the exhumation of individuals buried under sinister circumstances through the work of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission which have now started its public hearings.”
Minister Tambadou made his remarks on Wednesday at the handing over of the remains of the three soldiers killed in the 30 December coup plot against former President Yahya Jammeh, to their families.
For his part the Solicitor General Cherno Marenah said the remains have been subjected to series of forensic and DNA tests in order to determine the proper identity of the people that were exhumed
This, he added, was responsible for the delay of handing-over of the bodies to their families.
Justice Minister Tambadou added that the handing-over serves as clear testimony of his government’s belief in upholding human dignity and the principle of basic human decency.
“Only this can restore their human dignity and provide closure for their families, friends and love ones.”
The Justice Minister recognized the efforts of the Major Crimes and Scientific support unit of the Gambia Police Force and Justice Rapid Respond.
He also commended the families of the deceased for their remarkable patience during the process, adding “We hope that this ceremony today will mark the beginning of the closure of a very painful period in your lives…We also hope that by this act the government would have contributed towards restoring the dignity of your love ones by ensuring that they receive decent and fitting burial.”
The DNA certificates of the exhumed bodies were handed over to the three representatives of the families of Njaja Nyass, Njaga Jagne and Lamin Sanneh.
Lt. Col Lamin Sanneh, a former presidential guard under Jammeh and Cpt. Njaga Jagne and Alhagie Njaja Nyass, both former U.S. soldiers of Gambian descent, were killed during the attack. The three dead bodies were later buried at a firing range in Tintinba, near Bwiam.