Gambians Demand Justice For April 10 Victims - Kairo News — April 11, 2017 By Abdoulie John

Gambians Demand Justice For April 10 Victims - Kairo News — April 11, 2017

 By Abdoulie John

Hundreds of people on Monday took part in a parade on the streets of Serekunda to remember 14 people, including 12 students gunned down by Yahya Jammeh regime while protesting against the suspicious death in custody of a student. April 10 and 11 turned out to be the bloodies days for Gambian students. The two days plunged the country into deep shock, grief and sadness.

After 17 years since the events occurred, this is the first time the government is involved. All past anniversaries were marked in silence. Even the mere mentioning of the events could land people in trouble.

“I am saddened by the fact that this massacre took place in Gambia,” Youth and Sport Minister Henry Gomez told this reporter. Minister Gomez said justice will be done under President Adama Barrow’s transition government. “I pray to God that Yahya Jammeh will be punished for his crimes.”

Information Minister Demba Ali Jawo concurred with Gomez’s assertion that April student victims will get justice. He assured that the new regime will address the rising demands for justice.

The events that unfolded on those fateful days (April 10-11, 2000) have never been remembered under Gambia’s long time ruler. The carnage that left many seriously wounded, has shaken up the country with a devastating reality about Yahya Jammeh’s dictatorial regime. Victims’ familles were even denied the right to hold ceremony remembering their loved ones. For over two decades, former President turned a deaf ear to their persistent calls for justice.

Yusupha Mbye, one of the maimed victims of the events, said life has never been the same for him. He has since been grappling with nightmares. Mbye, who has been confined to a wheelchair, called on the authorities to make sure that the Indemnity Act that that exonerated daylight trigger-happy killers is repealed. “We’ve already launched a campaign against what appears to be a subterfuge used by the Jammeh regime to absolve security forces from any wrongdoing,” he said.

A long time campaigner of the April carnage is one of the parade initators.  “Anyone linked with the massacre will be dealt with accordingly,” Saul Mbenga said.

European Head of Delegation Attila Lajos, who spoke to this reporter, said the issue of transitional justice is going to be a long-lasting process. “It is not going to finish in a year,” he said.

Ambassador Lajos outlined the important role civil society groups have to play in the current political dispensation. “This is not something only the government can do. This is something that needs the entire nation to get together, and work it out. This is a very difficult process.”

He okayed Gambia government stance to follow the path taken by South Africa to deal with the issue of transitional justice.

The tiny West African nation is confronted with trying times as the quest for justice continues to resonate louder. The coming days will help to see how authorities will deal with the dilemma of delivering justice and promoting reconciliation.

 By Abdoulie John

Hundreds of people on Monday took part in a parade on the streets of Serekunda to remember 14 people, including 12 students gunned down by Yahya Jammeh regime while protesting against the suspicious death in custody of a student. April 10 and 11 turned out to be the bloodies days for Gambian students. The two days plunged the country into deep shock, grief and sadness.

After 17 years since the events occurred, this is the first time the government is involved. All past anniversaries were marked in silence. Even the mere mentioning of the events could land people in trouble.

“I am saddened by the fact that this massacre took place in Gambia,” Youth and Sport Minister Henry Gomez told this reporter. Minister Gomez said justice will be done under President Adama Barrow’s transition government. “I pray to God that Yahya Jammeh will be punished for his crimes.”

Information Minister Demba Ali Jawo concurred with Gomez’s assertion that April student victims will get justice. He assured that the new regime will address the rising demands for justice.

The events that unfolded on those fateful days (April 10-11, 2000) have never been remembered under Gambia’s long time ruler. The carnage that left many seriously wounded, has shaken up the country with a devastating reality about Yahya Jammeh’s dictatorial regime. Victims’ familles were even denied the right to hold ceremony remembering their loved ones. For over two decades, former President turned a deaf ear to their persistent calls for justice.

Yusupha Mbye, one of the maimed victims of the events, said life has never been the same for him. He has since been grappling with nightmares. Mbye, who has been confined to a wheelchair, called on the authorities to make sure that the Indemnity Act that that exonerated daylight trigger-happy killers is repealed. “We’ve already launched a campaign against what appears to be a subterfuge used by the Jammeh regime to absolve security forces from any wrongdoing,” he said.

A long time campaigner of the April carnage is one of the parade initators.  “Anyone linked with the massacre will be dealt with accordingly,” Saul Mbenga said.

European Head of Delegation Attila Lajos, who spoke to this reporter, said the issue of transitional justice is going to be a long-lasting process. “It is not going to finish in a year,” he said.

Ambassador Lajos outlined the important role civil society groups have to play in the current political dispensation. “This is not something only the government can do. This is something that needs the entire nation to get together, and work it out. This is a very difficult process.”

He okayed Gambia government stance to follow the path taken by South Africa to deal with the issue of transitional justice.

 

The tiny West African nation is confronted with trying times as the quest for justice continues to resonate louder. The coming days will help to see how authorities will deal with the dilemma of delivering justice and promoting reconciliation.