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Former junta vice chair Sanna admits to killings, tortures

Sanna Sabally before the Truth Commission

Sanna Sabally on Wednesday apologized to senior Gambian soldiers and police officers who were tortured at Mile 2 in September of 1994 on his orders. Among the victims of torture were Mamat Cham, Ebrima Chongan, RSM Jeng and Sheriff Gomez. Sanna however denied they were intentionally subjected to mock execution.

Sanna Sabally before the Truth Commission

The former vice chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council, Sanna B. Sabally, has on Wednesday admitted to executing soldiers at Fajara Barracks and in the Nyambai Forest on November 11, 1994.

The military executed close to two dozen soldiers for reportedly planning a counter-coup. According to testimonies before the Commission, Sabally played a leading role in those executions.

He told the Truth Commission that they killed the soldiers because it was a battle for survival. However, he also admitted that the orders to kill the soldiers came from former president Yahya Jammeh.

Geneva Convention on the rules of war, said Sanna before the Commission regarding their treatment of the November 11 coup plotters, that is not observed anywhere.

“I accept responsibility because I was the commander,” Sabally said. However, Sanna believed that though killing was not right, the circumstances warranted it.

Sabally was the most fearful person during the early days of the July 22 military takeover. His convoy had reportedly tortured people and shot at their car tyres for not leaving the road early.

Sanna admitted responsibility to nine such incidents that happened under his command and apologized to the victims.

One of such victims was Allo Bah, a vendor who was reportedly shot by a guard on Sanna’s convoy. He openly apologized to Bah before the Commission.


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