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Jungler confirms ‘Magic Pen’ Deyda Hydara was killed on Jammeh’s order


Today is exactly 25 years after former president Yahya Jammeh ascended to power.

An ex-member of former President Yahya Jammeh’s hit squad has confirmed to the Truth Commission on Monday that journalist Deyda Hydara was killed on the orders of the eccentric leader.

Jammeh ruled Gambia for 22 years during which he was accused of several human rights violations including killings, tortures and rape. Malick Jatta, a native of Tujereng village who was a member of the Junglers, said they were sent to kill Deyda on December 16 of 2004.

Jatta at the time of Hydara’s killing had already taken part in 2 executions all of which were led by Tumbul Tamba, the head of the patrol team.

He said the Patrol Team was a team of 4 officers who were carrying out the killings he categorized as “abnormal orders”.

“In 2004, we were told were going for the Magic Pen… At that point I did not know who the Magic Pen was. It was Malick Jatta, Tunbul Tamba, Sanna Manjang and Alieu Jeng in this operations… We took a taxi, benz 200… This taxi used to be parked at Yahya Jammeh’s garage in Kanifing. Tumbul who took the taxi sat at the Driver’s seat. I heard him talking to the former President and he was saying “yes sir, your excellency”,” said Jatta.

He said as Deyda’s vehicle approached, Tumbul said “gentlemen the driver is the idiot…”

“I shot, Sanna Manjang fired and Alieu Jeng also fired… I shot one. For my colleagues, I can’t tell how many fire they shot. On route to Kanilai, nobody spoke… Tumbul the following day came with some envelope containing some dollars and said gentlemen, this is a token of appreciation from the Big Man (President Jammeh). When I changed mine, it was over D50, 000,” said Jatta.

Today is exactly 25 years after former president Yahya Jammeh ascended to power. He has always denied involvement in the killing of Hydara.

He said he was involved in two other executions. Jatta said their group was operating on the orders of Jammeh and were directly answerable to him.

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