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1994: Ex-captain Suwareh “captured” at Denton Bridge by Junta


The testimony of the eleventh Commission witness appears to indicate that former captain Amadou Suwareh may have been economical with truth before the Commission. 


A witness before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation and Commission said the former captain Amadou Suwareh ordered to stop Yahya Jammeh and others at the Denton Bridge was captured by the military without a scuffle.

Former second lieutenant who now acquires doctorate degree in global affairs in United States, Binneh Minteh, said the Tactical Support Group which was the armed wing of the police was deployed to the Denton Bridge by Ebrima Chongan, the first Commission witness who was the commander of police operations at the time.

He confirmed that their orders were to lay an ambush at the bridge and take on the soldiers if they attempted to cross.

The ambush was laid but as soon as Jammeh and others arrived at the bridge, according to Minteh, nothing was heard from Suwareh.

Suwareh had earlier told the Commission that he had made a judgment call to avoid bloodbath, because of the inferior fire power of his men, not to engage the soldiers.

However, he claimed he conditioned the soldiers into accepting him to command their further advancement into Banjul so that he could control what happen to avoid any bloodshed.   

Though that version of Suwareh’s story had already been discarded as “ridiculous” by a protected Commission witness over a week ago, Minteh’s testimony appeared to suggest that he did not even make an effort to resist.

“The situation of (Captain) Suwareh puzzled me when I saw Suwareh in a combat-ready position with them… That is why I concluded that Suwareh was captured. He was not at liberty. Seeing him (Suwareh) with junior soldiers and not talking to me was confusing…,” said Minteh.

But in terms of the readings of the situation, Minteh and Suwareh both believe engaging the soldiers was going to be suicidal.

Minteh said Edward Singhateh threatened him that they have an inferior fire-power and any attempt to stop them could be deadly.

“I thought it was suicidal for men armed with AK47 to try to repeal a coup by mutinous soldiers armed with heavy machine guns, anti-aircraft batteries and Rocket Propelled Grenades. Using the men to confront the soldiers would be poor leadership. I will not do that,” stressed Minteh.

Minteh is expected to appear before the Commission in two weeks to discuss about the November 11 massacre. 

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