Story written by Amie Faye and Isatou Tamba
EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Jambur Imam has branded Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh’s 2009 witch-hunting exercise was nothing but a political theory, saying he was beaten by Jammeh’s resolute Green boys after they identified his as opposition to him and his APRC party.
Testifying before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission -TRRC- in Jambur on Monday, Omar Bojang said he had no doubt that the order was from Mr Jammeh because the Green boys had strong connection with him. He said the involvement of the Green boys in his case even stopped the police from intervening even after seeing the boys beating him.
The TRRC is now on its tenth session of hearings, focusing on Mr Jammeh’s 2009 witch-hunting exercise. The exercise primarily targeted Gambian communities, particularly those in the region of Foni, where Mr Jammeh himself hailed from, in which his hired Guinean witch-doctors forced several people to drink a concoction that rendered them unconscious and admit to being witches and wizards.
In March 2009, Mr Jammeh hired witch-doctors from Guinea who rounded up to 1000 people, including security officers and forced them to drink a poisonous concoction that render them unconscious and admit to being witches and wizards.
Imam said following his torture by the Green boys, some visitors came to pay condolence to him after the demise of his mother when a group of soldiers with marabouts who were believed to be witch hunters, wearing red cloths and decorated with jujus, marrows and animal tails came in.
He said they started searching every part of his house with the suspicion that there were dangerous jujus that were hindering the progress of the village’s young people. “They later moved into my bathroom where they found a juju. I was taken to the village square with my visitors when the village Alkalo told the soldiers that he work with those of his visitors to spiritually damage Jammeh’s presidency.
“I was later joined by my biological father and uncle at the village square with several other older men and women. We were taken to Kololi where we were forced to drink a concoction and we were tortured which caused many among our group the inability to walk and we suffered serious illnesses.”
Imam Bojang also said underneath Mr Jammeh’s action’s, including the witch hunting exercise were political motivations.