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Activists threaten legal action against allege rapist


Activists said on Sunday that the Female Lawyers Association has agreed to take up the case against a French National who was reportedly involved in a beach sex with a minor.

Gambian activists have registered dismay at the inaction of Gambia Government to investigate and prosecute a French national who was allegedly involved in beach sex with a minor.

Col. John Veneau was found at Palma Rima Beach about two weeks ago reportedly engaged in a ’sexual intercourse’ with a minor.

Activist said the girl whose identity remains undisclosed has been confirmed to be under 18 by a medical examination.

Under Gambian law, an under 18 girl cannot consent to sex and any person who is found guilty for having sex with a minor can serve up to 10 years.

“Who will come out and report a sexual violence case if nothing is done about the past ones… We want justice. We are not complaining because this particular case involved a foreign national. No,” Lamin K Saidy, a child rights activists told journalists at a press conference on Sunday.

Activists gathered at TANGO head office to put pressure on Government to investigate the incident.

“This could happen to anyone’s child,” said Na Ceesay Marenah, an educationists and an activist who was also a witness to the incident.

Meanwhile, the interior minister Ebrima Mballow, told Kerr Fatou on Sunday that the case is being investigated by the Police but he could not speak on it until he was briefed by the office of the Inspector General of Police.

Col. Veneau is an EU citizen who is currently in the country as part of a bilateral corporation between France and The Gambia.

He is attached to The Ministry of Interior as adviser.

“Our findings has shown that Col. Veneau is still in the country,” said Saidy.

“All that we are calling for is proper investigation.”

Activists said they have learned that Col. Veneau was the head of the French forces in Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali, places where they are being investigated for sexual related offences by the United Nations.

The activists said they have confirmed that the girl who has been reportedly abused is not a Gambian.

She may have come from Ghana, one of them said. Marenah said her case could be a trafficking case though there are no evidences to confirm that.

However, the United States annual Trafficking in Persons Report has consistently listed Gambia as a destination of sex trafficking for nationals from other West African countries.

The country’s ranking has improved last year on the TIP to Tier 2 but it was still listed as a sex tourism destination.

Despite that, the country’s national anti-trafficking agency, NAATIP, has never secured any judgment despite having several cases in the past.

The two Gambian witness to the incident, Fabakary Fabureh and Ali Sankareh, were present at the press conference.


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