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3-day search for soldiers’ remains at Yundum Barracks no answer


The search for the remains of unspecified number of soldiers killed on November 11, 1994 have entered its third day at the Yundum Barracks without success. No remains have been found.   

The forensic team is yet to find anything despite digging nearly all sites identified by witnesses.

The exhumation began on Friday when they dug an area of about 7 by 10 meters but the suspected mass grave turns up empty.

The investigators have been given conflicting accounts as to the exact place of the mass grave.

Two places about 25 meters from the infamous cook house at the Yundum barracks were identified by most eye witnesses, all of them soldiers.

The investigators marked the place and started the digging. The first identified place turned up empty yesterday and another turned up empty on Saturday and Monday.

The team was led by Thomas Gomez, a police forensic expert, and Alagie Barrow, the lead investigator at the TRRC.

Part of the mandates of the Commission is not just to establish the historical records of the past human rights violations but also to ensure that remains of people are exhumed and returned to their relatives.

Meanwhile, Gomez, country’s only forensic expert who exhumed the remains of Solo Sandeng and December 30 attackers is still optimistic.

“Otherwise, we will have to dig the whole area,” Gomez told journalists on Friday. It has been 22 years since these soldiers were killed but Gomez said their remains needed for their identification will still be there.

He has, however, never exhumed a body that has had two decades in the grave. The investigators have already met the families of the victims and got their DNA information.

They have also got victims’ other information such as their cloth they wore that day, shoes, artificial tooth if any of them has, rings if they have and other things.

Gomez said all these helps in the search process after the remains are found.


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