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Ex-State Guard commander unaware of Jawara’s evacuation to American vessel


Lamin Kaba Bajo is the current president of the Gambia Football Federation who has served as minister in former Government.

Lamin Kaba Bajo, commander of the State Guards soldiers in 1994, has claimed he was unaware of the evacuation of the former president Dawda Kairaba Jawara to the American ship.

Docked at the Ports, the American vessel was carrying soldiers who have come to the country to reportedly hold a military exercise with the Gambian soldiers.

Kaba, a close friend to Yahya Jammeh the leader of the coup, said he only became aware that Jawara was aboard the American vessel when he was already on the naval ship.

As the head of the security responsible for the protection of the country’s top office, Kaba admitted he should have known but he brought his lack of knowledge to “perhaps, betrayal” by people who were close to the President.

According to the testimony by Kaba, he has shared a good personal relationship with the former President Jammeh. Jammeh played a pivotal role in Kaba winning his first oversee training.

After returning from Dakar where he fled with the former president after the coup “against his will”, he came back and was appointed a Commissioner.

The Commission found it intriguing because all other former soldiers and police who came back were either tortured or jailed.

However, Kaba was accepted and told by Jammeh that the junta understood the role he played which was his responsibility. He however denied any involvement in the coup that brought Jammeh to power.

Meanwhile, according to various testimonies before the Truth Commission, the 1994 coup succeeded as a result of weak defense infrastructure in the country and massive intelligence failure.

Kabba said the fire power at the State House at the time of the coup was weaker when compared to weapons in the custody of the various military encampments.

The former state minister Kaba was on an official duty with Jammeh to Ethiopia when Koro Ceesay’s dead body was found in his burnt car.

He said Jammeh briefed them about the issue and when they came he told Koro’s family that the incident will be investigated. Several witnesses said Jammeh was involved in Koro’s death.

And though Kaba claimed he instructed an investigation into Koro’s death, police never investigated it.

In fact, the police officer who attempted to investigate the issue Pa Mbaye was reportedly fired because of the probe. But Kaba insisted he instructed the police to do the investigation.

He rejected any idea that he knew about the former military leader’s involvement in Koro’s death and thus his refusal to investigate the incident.

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