New evidence gathered by investigators has shown a consistent body of evidence linking EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA: Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh to the killing of 44 Ghanaians and other West African immigrants in the country in July 2005.
The investigation shows that before a panel of investigators consisting of United Nations and West African regional group Ecowas officials arrived in the country, Gambian authorities destroyed the documentary evidence but Police records showed that they have been detained in different stations.
During a press conference at The Gambia Centre for Victims and Human Right violation in Kololi today, coordinator of #Jammeh to justice campaign Marion Volkmann said this set of evidences now made Mr. Jammeh the prime suspect in the case. “It is therefore our hope that the Ghanaian authorities will reopen the case and eventually ask for Jammeh’s extradition to Ghana.”
In July 2009, the UN-Ecowas joint investigation team cleared The Gambia of any involvement in the killing of Ghanaians which culminated in Mr. Jammeh and Ghana’s former president John Atta Mills signing a memorandum of understanding at the fringes of the assembly of heads of states and governments of the African Union at the Libyan resort of Sirte in 2009.
Volkmann said this Wednesday in Ghana’s capital Accra, two organisations that are part of the coalition “Jammeh to justice” held a press conference revealing new information gathered on the killing of the more than fifty West African migrants, many of them been Ghanaians, Senegalese, Ivoirians, Togolese and a Gambian national.
She said from March 2017 to May 2018, with the help of Gambian journalist Fabakary Ceesay, they interviewed 30 former Gambian security officers out of which 11 were directly involved and one was a witness to the killings.
Martin Kyere, a Ghanaian shoe seller who was the lone survivor was interviewed in Ghana and was recently renewing his commitment to ensure that Mr. Jammeh is extradited and brought to book. Fifteen families of Ghanaian victims were also interviewed.
Mr. Jammeh ruled the Gambia for 22 years under dictatorship and terror until December 2016 when he was defeated by a first-time contender Adama Barrow. He later went into exile in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea where he is hosted by another dictator.
“It was revealed that the victims were bound for Europe but Jammeh took them for machineries and gave direct order to the junglers to kill them,” Volkmann said.
She said the migrants arrived on 22nd July 2005 and as Jammeh was attending a jamboree in the evening to mark celebrations of his July 22nd 1994 coup, he was informed about them and he gave direct order for their arrest, detention and later ordered for them to be killed.
According to her, the first group of 8 people were killed the following day and their bodies were found at Brufut, a coastal settlement near a community call Ghana town. “The larger group was dispatched in various prisons where they were held for few days. It is at that moment that the Police arrested a Gambian name Lamin Tunkara who was working with the captain of the vessel to transport migrants to Europe.”
She said the migrants and Tunkara were later taken in different vehicles around the area of Jammeh’s home village of Kanilai and were killed. “We believed that their bodies were thrown in a well in Casamance. They were all killed except Martin who escaped.” Another migrant managed to escape but he was later found by junglers and killed.”
Volkmann said a delegation of Ghanaian sureties and investigators came several times to The Gambia which later turned into a panel of investigators including UN and Ecowas.