EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Two top executive members of the 1994 military junta that deposed the government of Gambia’s late former president Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara have taken part in the first public reconciliation administered by the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC).
On Wednesday, the two men admitted to taking active roles in the killing of their colleagues who were alleged to have plotted a coup against the country’s exiled former President Yahya Jammeh-led Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) government in 1994.
In his testimony before the TRRC last week, Singhateh apologized for enabling the arrest and incarceration of the first vice president of the junta. The two initiated the coup that brought in a 22 -year rule under Mr Jammeh, who went into exile for records of human right violations.
The two men had not been in touch for many years, following their imminent differences few months after taken over the country in the 1994 military coup.
Mr Sabally was arrested and jailed for nine years for allegedly attempting to topple Mr Jammeh but was later pardoned and went into exile in Senegal before proceeding to Germany where he studied medicine.
The reconciliation was initiated by Sanna Sabally. He said after listening to Edward Singhateh’s testimony, he realized that both of them were victims and oppressors, saying since the day he left the Mile 2 prison, he decided to forgive everyone, including Yahya Jammeh.
He said with this move, he hope that their victims would also find it in their hearts to forgive them in the spirit of reconciliation.
Edward Singhateh said he cannot apologies enough and thanked his brother Sanna Sabally for initiating the reconciliation meeting. “We have to thank Allah for bringing us together again as we used to as brothers. I cannot sit and say I would have the same faith you have knowing what you have been through,” he said.
He also said he hope their victims can also forgive them and pray that Allah instill forgiveness in the hearts of all those who they have offended in one way or the other.
Chairman of the reconciliation committee, Imman Ousainou Jallow thanked the two men for standing before all Gambians and reconcile as the country is on healing and reconciliation process. He said this is the beginning of many reconciliations, as there are plans to meet others for reconciliation, saying as a nation they cannot allow to be divided.