EYEAFRICA TV: A survivor of April 10 and 11, 2000 incident in The Gambia that led to the killing of 14 people by Gambian police officers and soldiers during a student protest has told the truth-seeking Commission; TRRC on Wednesday that he was gunshot on his leg by security forces at West Field, while he and other students were showing their solidarity with their colleagues.
Abdou Karim Jammeh said he was gunshot by paramilitary officers at West Field, who barricaded the road leading to their headquarters in Kanifing. He said they were going to the paramilitary headquarters to seek for clarification on who give orders to shoot at the student demonstrators but he was shot by the officers and fell in the gutter along the West Field-Banjul highway.
“I got fainted when I fell in the gutter and after recovering, two paramilitary officers attempted to beat me up but I tried to defend myself. One of the officers kicked me on my back. I sustained the highest degree of injury but many other students too were affected.”
The April 10 and 11 protests had been called following two separate incidents – the beating to death of secondary school student Ebrima Barry by firefighters, and the rape of a 13-year-old girl by a uniformed police officer – and the lack of investigation of both of those incidents.
Despite firing live ammunition into the protesters after government buildings had been damaged, no charges have been brought against those involved, and the then president Yahya Jammeh government suppressed commemoration of the event. Adama Barrow’s government has since promised to investigate the shooting.
Jammeh said when he took the stick from the officer which he attempted to beat him with and attempted to throw it into the nearest gutter, he turned around to see if the then army chief Babucarr Jatta was still going with the other students, he saw the officer standing with their guns. “Then I heard a gunshot and told my younger brother that we should leave the place. As tried to run, a bullet stroked me and I fell in the gutter.”
“It was Yahya Jammeh who gave orders to fire at the students because he was the one who ordered his vice president Isatou Njie Saidy and she too ordered the then chief of defence staff Babucarr Jatta.”
He accused former president Yahya Jammeh of giving orders to the soldiers to open fire at the student demonstrators who, he said were showing solidarity to their colleagues Ebriama Barry who was allegedly beaten to death by members of the Gambia fire and rescue services and Binta Manneh who was forcefully raped by paramilitary officers at the independence stadium in Bakau, while attending inter-school athletics championship.