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“They insisted we must confess we are witches”


People who were captured by witch hunters backed by former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh were reportedly taken to Kanilai to confess that they were witches and wizards.


Mustapha Fanneh

The Truth Commission on Tuesday had its second day of hearing in Sibanor, a settlement about 29 minutes drive from Kanilai, the village of former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh.

Sibanor is the second community, after Jambur, that the Commission holds its hearing on the 2009 witch hunting that happened in the Gambia by 5 men hired reportedly by Jammeh.

According to witnesses before the Commission, the men were accompanied by Major Solo Bojang, a prominent member of the Junglers, a hit squad of Jammeh. witnesses also said the witch doctors were also accompanied by Green Youths, a civilian vigilante group operating on the orders of Jammeh.

Fatou Camara, a native of Sintet, was a victim and she was the third witness to have testified from Foni.

“We were forced to drink concoction on the second day because we would not agree we are witches… We were all given second doses for refusing to admit that we are witches,” said Camara.

Camara was not the only witness to have reveal this information before the Commission.

Another witness from Sintet, Mustapha Fanneh, testified that they were forced to confessed they kill people after they were forced to drink a concoction in Kanilai.

“They would look at people and say even the way you are, your appearances, shows you are a witch…,” added Camara.

According to Mustapha, when he insisted that he did not kill anyone, he was forced to drink the concoction the following day.

Like a number of victims of the witch doctors, Camara said she had hypertension and chest pain after they were released from Kanilai. Mustapha also complains of excessive body ache.

Witnesses said about 13 people died in Sintet who were victims of the witch doctors. The Commission ends its session in Sintet on Thursday.

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