EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: An army Lance Corporal has admitted to have killed two students and injured several others during the April 10 and 11 2000 students demonstration in The Gambia that ensued from the death of Ebrima Barry and the raping of a 13-year-old girl by uniform men.
Abdou Njie, alias Grey, who appeared before the truth-seeking commission; TRRC on Thursday, said they were ordered to protect student demonstrators and prevent them from destroying anything in McCarthy, now Janjanbureh.
After several push and pull with the lead counsel Essa Fall, Lance Corporal Njie admitted aiming at the students, killing Ousman Sabally and Sainey Nyabally and injuring seven others. “Then I killed them. I accept. I killed Ousman Sabally and Sainey Nyabally and I injured seven other people.”
He said on their arrival in Brikamaba, himself, Lamin Camara, Corporal Camara, Alieu Kambi and PJ Mendy alighted there because they were told that the students intended to kill the school principal, set the police station and the Gamtel on fire.
Abdou Njie said they went to the school early in the morning but when the students saw them, they started to run away but they told them not to run away because they were there to protect them.
A while later, they saw three tractors fully loaded with students coming from the village and when they saw them [soldiers], they started shouting and insulting. “They started throwing stones at us saying we should leave their school. That was the time I got to know that their head boy and head girl were detained at the station.”
Njie said that was when corporal Camara ordered them to go back to the station as they were overcome by the angry students. “We were overcome by the students who were throwing stones at us. We dispersed and returned to the perimeter of the school and that was when the Corporal ordered us to fire at the students,” he claimed.
According to him, nothing happened prior to their arrival at the station, but when they arrived at there, they saw students burning tyres and broke inside the Gamtel building, saying that was when they started firing blanks at students.
“When I cocked and realised that my blanks were exhausted, I attached live rounds and fired in the air. When I shot in the air, after ten minutes, I heard that someone has died. After sometime, I had someone else had died too.”
He stated that when he started shooting the blank rounds that was when he heard that students were killed and realised that he actually fired at them.
Lead Counsel Essa Faal insisted that he cannot fire in the air and kill students but Njie, who proved stubborn insisted that he did not shot at the students but rather fired in the air.
“If I had shot directly, I would have killed more than one person. I cannot deny that I killed because I fired live bullets. But how I did it that is how I narrated it.”