It had to take him hours of playing fast and loose with the truth that even the lead counsel confessed, Alieu Jeng was one of a kind.
Jeng, a member of a hit-squad operating on the orders of former President Yahya Jammeh, was one of several Junglers to have appeared before the country’s Truth Commission.
Jeng gave two statements since his arrest in 2017: one to the Gambia Police Force and another to the Truth Commission. However, his narration of events on both statements differs in that he would not admit to killings in his statement before the Commission.
Caught by the lead counsel Essa Faal after an hour of contradictory statement, Jeng conceded: “I lied”. “So you lied to the Commission,” said Faal.
“Yes,” admitted Jeng. His reason, apparently, was because lead counsel Faal had told him not to incriminate himself. “I was trying to safeguard myself… I thought Malick Jatta would come and deny everything,” said Jeng. “Because Malick can do that.”
Jeng’s statement with the Commission was submitted before Malick Jatta’s testimony. But Faal have gotten enough of it. “If you lie again, I will ask the Commission to send you to jail,” said Essa.
It is a crime to lie before the Truth Commission and also a crime to lie under oath under the Gambian law.
From then on Jeng promised absolute truth. But even then his battle with the lead counsel continued until after the lunch break of the Commission.
Then came the magic. Jeng admitted participation in the killing of Ndongo Mboob, Deyda Hydara and Dawda Nyassi, all killings he denied participating in.
But even more. Jeng also admitted participating in the execution of West African migrants and another group of Gambians who were at least 7 in number.
Jeng has been implicated in several killings by Malick Jatta and Omar Jallow. The Commission resumes on August 19 with the continuation of testimony of Jeng.
Junglers were soldiers who were randomly recruited from the army and trained by a fraudster Francisco Cacaso, an Italian national who later fled the country after he was made.
The group is composed of at least 3 teams with different names, The Patrol Team, Black Black, Junglers, loosely controlled at different times by Solo Bojang, Nuha Badgie, Sanna Manjang, Musa Jammeh, Bora Colley, among others.
Whether or not you are involved in a mission, you don’t ask questions. “The motto of the Junglers is “need to know basis”… A mission you are not involved in, you don’t ask,” said Jungler Pa Ousman Sanneh.