The 34th witness of the Truth Commission investigating the human rights violations of the former ruler, Yahya Jammeh, said Sgt Fafa Nyang was shot from behind as he ran for his life. Momodou Lamin Bah said Nyang’s hands were tied from behind as he slowly run before a bullet from Edward Singhateh hit him.
Gambia witnessed its first successful coup on July 22, 1994. Though no life was reportedly lost on the day, several people mainly soldiers were killed in the immediate aftermath of the coup.
This included close to two dozen soldiers who were executed for planning a counter coup.
According to several witnesses before the Truth Commission, the counter coup slated for November 11, 1994, was as a result of the disgruntlement in the army because of the betrayal of the agenda of the coup and Jammeh and his colleagues.
Momodou Lamin Bah, a private soldier at the time, said Lt. Edward Singhateh, one of the leaders of the coup, have promised soldiers of compensation if the coup succeed. Close to four months after the coup’s success, nothing happened and yet the military leaders were enjoying.
“Then we said let us remove them and replace them with others,” said Bah. This was November 11. Jammeh and his colleagues were aware of the planned coup, arrested the leaders and executed them.
“Lt Barrow and Dot Faal were lied down in a truck… Sanna was saying look at them they want to presidents. Soldiers were peeping and I also peeped and they were dead,” said Bah. He was not present when they were being killed.
“Edward asked Alagie Kanyi to go for Fafa Nyang and he was asked to run for his life. As he was running he was looking behind. Edward first fired at him and he fell,” testified Bah.
Interesting though, Bah said Lamin Colley, an army medic who claimed to have accidentally fired a shot killing Nyang, had reportedly killed him deliberately.
“He was running but not fast enough because his hands were tied… (Lamin) Colley also fired at him… He must have taken a shooting position and pull the trigger. It was a deliberate shot,” said Bah.
During his testimony, Colley however called his shot an accidental discharge. He said he was running to help save Fafa Nyang when his gun accidentally fired a shot, shattering his left jaw.
Bah said this was a lie.
“The shot from Colley was a target… There is a procedure in firing… You cannot say it was an accident… Colley was trying to build a cover-up,” said Bah.
On November 11, the soldiers were executed at various locations. According to testimonies, the locations were Fajara Barracks, Yundum Barracks and Nyambai Forest.
Bah would be later discharged from the army for a crime he did not commit. He was acquitted by court on charges that he reportedly attempted to swindle a diamond dealer with money.
After his acquittal, he attempted to be reinstated in the army but to no avail. He later received a letter asking him to “let the sleeping dog lie” otherwise he could be tried at the military court.
Fearing for his life, he fled for Senegal where he lived until after Jammeh was voted out in December, 2016. Bah, unlike most of his colleagues present at the November killings, said he did not kill anyone.
He was not also mentioned by witnesses to have participated in the killings.