EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Abdou Njie, a former Lance Corporal of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) said before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) that he has regretted killing two students during the April 10 and 11 2000 students protest in the country.
Testifying before the truth-seeking Commission on Thursday, Njie appealed for forgiveness from the family of his victim students and those whom he inflicted injuries on, saying he is completely remorseful of his actions.
The April 10 and 11 2000 student protest 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 former president Yahya Jammeh government suppressed commemoration of the event. The Adama Barrow government has since promised to investigate the shooting.
Lance Corporal Njie said it is not certain to him if the army had any interest with regards to the death and injured ones hence it was their own act because after everything that happened, they went back to Brikamaba police station and later to the Gamtel house and continue their duties.
He said while they were at the Gamtel, the army did not provide anything for them and they were there for a month, surviving on the generous food gesture from the community.
“The community elders came to the station and said there was no need for the army to supply us with food. They said they will provide everything for us. That was when we moved from the station to the Gemtel house.”
Lance Corporal Njie said they never hated the people but all their actions were based on orders, because when an order is given in the military, whether one likes or not, he or she must obey it. “Even if you are ordered to arrest your own mother you must have to.”
He said he regretted all his action in the incident because he was neither injured nor was he beaten, but it when he heard that two of his colleagues were wounded that was the time he could not control himself, and went ahead to fire almost 104 rounds but that was not done intentionally.