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TRRC Reveals Jammeh’s Witch-hunt Caused 41 Deaths

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Former President Yahya Jammeh

By Landing Ceesay

The Truth, Reconciliation, Reparation Commission (TRRC) findings revealed that former President Yahya Jammeh’s witch-hunt caused 41 deaths and held him and those who assisted him responsible.

“Former President Yahya Jammeh, Solo Bojang, the security forces, witch hunters and Green Boys are all individually and collectively responsible for ordering the persecution, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, inhumane and degrading and sexual gender-based violence treatment of hundreds of persons, leading to about forty-one (41) deaths during the 2009 witch-hunting exercise. These persons have been incapacitated and many are still suffering from physical and mental ailments as a result of the concoctions they drank and the terrible treatment meted out against them.  Branding them as witches and wizards have resulted in them being stigmatised and discriminated against for the rest of their lives,” TRRC finding revealed.

The TRRC added that some individuals who assisted Jammeh deserved special mention and must also be held responsible for their role in the witch-hunts.

“Tambajiro. Solo Bojang, Sulayman (Solomon) Manga and Toffee Manga are held individually and collectively responsible for ordering the persecution, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, inhumane and degrading treatment of hundreds of persons during a series of Witch-hunts in Sintet in 2008 under the instructions of Jammeh,” the commission said.

The Truth Commission recommended the prosecution of Yahya Jammeh, Solo Bojang and Saikou Jallow for the “murder, manslaughter” of forty-one individuals, (Jambur 18, Sintet 13, Makumbaya 2 and Essau 8), who died because of being targeted and forced to drink toxic concoctions, which resulted in all the deaths.

The findings further revealed that Jammeh is responsible for the forced labour of several people in the Fonis and other areas in his home village Kanilai.

The findings and recommendations of the commission are in volume 11 of its report on the 2009 Witch-hunt exercise ordered by Jammeh. The report was submitted to the Gambian President-elect Adama Barrow in November and made public on Friday.

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