Arrest Jammeh, Ban His Party: Gambians Demand

27 January 2020 African News

Hundreds of Gambians on Saturday called for the arrest and prosecution of the country’s former president Yahya Jammeh, arguing that the victims of his 22-year rule deserve justice.

Jammeh ruled Gambia with an iron fist but fled in January 2017 after losing a presidential election to relative unknown Adama Barrow which he refused to acknowledge before being forced out of power by a popular uprising.

Wearing T-shirts that read #justicemustprevail, protesters marched in the outskirts of the capital Banjul, holding photographs of people killed or who have gone missing, including AFP correspondent Deyda Hydara, who was gunned down on 16 December 2004 by Jammeh’s henchmen.

Maron Baldeh, whose husband lieutenant Basiru Barrow was executed in 1994, said she was at Saturday’s protest to call for Jammeh to be prosecuted.“We are sending message to government to act fast, because… justice delayed is justice denied. Yahya Jammeh should be arrested and put on trial.”

Nyima Sonko, 42, the widow of Solo Sandeng, a political activist who was arrested and tortured to death after he led a protest march for electoral reform, said: “We are calling on the government to ban the APRC from taking part in active politics.”

“We want justice and we want it immediately,” they cried and demanding a ban on Jammeh’s former ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party (APRC).

Since January 2019, some 190 witnesses have appeared before a Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) set up to investigate abuses under Jammeh’s rule.

The first year of hearings ended in early December, capping months of testimony about torture, murder, rape and witch hunts in the country of around two million.

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