EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: A United States based Gambian Professor, Tuesday blamed former president Yahya Jammeh for instituting a dividing tribal representation in Gambia’s civil and Security Services since he came to power in July, 1994.
Analyzing Mr Jammeh’s rise to leadership and his 22-year rule before the country’s truth-seeking commission on Tuesday, Abdoulie Saine suggested that the exiled former president empowered and positioned his Jola relatives in senior government positions, in what he called a ‘hit back’ on the historical discrimination against the ethnicity in The Gambia.
The truth-seeking commission; name Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) was instituted by President Adama Barrow in 2017 to investigate human right violations in the country during former President Jammeh’s 22 years administration.
Now in its eleventh session, the TRRC has heard testimonies Mr Jammeh’s close associates, including members of his coordinated patrol team called Junglers, who are accused of killing both civilians and military personnel on Jammeh’s orders.
Professor Saine told the commission that as soon as Jammeh took the mantle of leadership, he took an affirmative action by giving opportunity to groups that have been traditionally and historically discriminated.
“In addition to the infrastructure he did, Jammeh also undertook a very positive policy towards the promotion of the Jola people in the civil services. Jolanisation of the civil service started to increase and he promote and send many Jolas for further studies. Today, you will find many Jolas in the security sector in particular, holding very high positions,” he said.
In Saine’s view, the Jammeh jolanisation policy was excessive enough to victimize the Mandinka community in the country. “Mandinkas in general suffered immeasurably because of their ethic and cultural identity. Jammeh constantly insult his political rivals like Ousainou Darboe and calling Mandinkas as unpatriotic citizens.”
Saine appeared before the Truth-seeking Commission to share authoritative context of events leading to the July 1994 military takeover that Mr Jammeh headed, as well as the country’s governance system, leading to a state of dictatorship.
Story written by Juldeh Njie