Witch hunting exercise: Widow says concoction virtually took away their sense of human

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EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: A 75-year-old widow who appeared before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission –TRRC- at its Jambur hearing on former Yahya Jammeh’s 2009 witch hunting exercise on Tuesday, said their experience in the hands of the witch doctors was grossly inhumane, forcing them to drink a portion that virtually took away their since of human.

Lamarana Jallow said after drinking the concoction, some of them were urinating on themselves, while all the toilets available at the place where they were taken to were locked.

She said there abnormal behaviour was not only due to the portion they drank but also the fear of the military uniform and the kind of dress the witch hunters wore. “The fear was also for being taken to a place where we have no idea about and why we were taken there. Since I drink that portion until date, I could not get back my health,” she said.

Mrs Jallow told the Commission that the witch doctors found her and others selling at the school canteen when they arrested and took them away.

Mrs Jallow, who lives in Galoya in Kombo North said she cannot remember the date when the witch hunters came to her community, but she can remember that day met her at the market. “Some of them were wearing green cloths and others in red cloths with mirrors and jujus all over them,” she said.

The old woman said the witch doctors would place their mirrors on people and they will ask anyone they believe is a witch or wizard to board a car and they will take them away.

She said students were on lunch break when the men in green and red cloths came. She said she called her daughter and asked her to go and call her elder sister Mariama, and when she came, she wanted to give her some of the stuff to take home but their captives said no one was going to leave the car.  “That was when the children began to cry and they threatened to be beaten if they continue to cry. I asked them to go home and told them that if I don’t die, I will surly come back.”

She said while in the car, she could not tell where they were taking them to, and she could not even tell where those people came from and when she said ask, no one would respond.

The widow said she could not even have the time to try to find out how many of them were in the car because when was angry at the time until they suddenly find themselves in Kololi, where they were forced to drink a concoction.

Mrs Jallow told the commission that at Kololi, they were asked to take away everything that was with them before drinking the concoction.

She said their experience in the hands of the witch doctors was grossly inhumane, forcing them to drink a portion that virtually took away their since of human, because some of them were urinating on themselves, while all the toilets available at the place were locked.

She said that was not due to only the portion they drank but also the fear of the military uniform and the kind of dress the witch hunters were wearing. She said the fear was also for been taken to a place where they have no idea about and why they were taken there, saying since she drank that portion until date, she could not get back her health.

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