EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: A lady who received two gunshots for covering private parts of her sister who had been stripped naked by paramilitary officers during the April 10 and 11 2000 students’ demonstration have pointed accusing fingers on former president Yahya Jammeh, saying he is the architect of the crimes.
Oumie Jagne, who appeared before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission on Wednesday said she saw her sister, Anna Jagne, who was attending high school in Kanifing, and her fellow students being stripped of their uniforms by the police gunmen.
Concerned by such condition of child abuse, Oumie said she provided clothing for her sister and her friends which did not go down well with the armed police. “I was getting closer to my sister to give her some clothes to wear, then a shot was fired on me, on my hand,” she said, and added, “the same paramilitary officer threatened to shoot me again. As I turned to run away, he fired another shot on my same hand.”
She recalled the trauma of being rushed to the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital in a vehicle along with dead bodies of students who came out to protest. She said she underwent several surgeries within a period of four days.
“A young boy came to help me. He cut a piece from my cloths to dress my wounds. He came in a Red Cross vehicle and pleaded with me to board in but I refused because there were lot of causalities already inside. What I saw there made me scream because everyone around was wounded and in pain.”
Oumie argued that it was pointless for the former president to pay a visit to them at the hospital, knowing fully well that Jammeh was the cause of the shooting on them. She said he gave them some envelopes in gifts which they threw back at him, saying his visit was a mockery on them.
“After three to four days of being at the hospital, we heard that Yahya Jammeh was coming to see us but I never wanted to see him. Even my sister was insulting him and threw a stick at him and he was just laughing. He gave us envelopes but we threw them back to him.”
Nineteen years on, the April 2000 students’ demonstration is remembered for lack of justice into the killing of fourteen students. The strike was triggered by the death of a students in the hands of fire servicemen, and the rape on a female student by a uniformed officer in the same month and year.