“Why Would I Kill Ghanaians? “ Jammeh Rhetorically AskedGambia’s President Says The 44 Ghanaians Were Murdered And Dumped into The Gambia By Unknown People

“… What hurts me most is that I have a very excellent relationship with Kufor and some how these bodies appeared from nowhere and we are accused. “says Jammeh.

By Foday Ceesay

Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has spoken for the first time since the massacre of 44 Ghanaians in The Gambia, in July 2005, as the Gambian leader emphatically rejected allegations that his Government murdered the said West African Immigrants. Jammeh who was speaking in an interview with the Sierra Leonean Press said he had no reason to Kill Ghanaians.” We have found them in a coastal fishing village. And what we thought was that somebody must have killed them and brought them to the sour. For The Gambia, we have no reason to kill Ghanaians. Ghana is the only country that has a Community that have their own town run by Ghanaians. As these bodies appeared within that vicinity and we had to call the Ghanaian Community to come and identify these people and they say they don’t know them. And we announced it. We invited all honorary Consuls and diplomats in The Gambia to go and identify the bodies, they were never identified.” said Gambian President Yahya Jammeh.

The Gambian leader who was seen on television footages in Free Town ,during his recent trip to witness President Kuruma’s inauguration maintains that his Government had no hands in the murder of these Ghanaians. Although, he confirmed that the Ghanaians were murdered by “unknown individuals” and dumped into the Gambia. Reasons, for such a move still bothers Jammeh’s mind. “How can I kill Ghanaians? Ghana that has always been generous to The Gambia… What hurts me most is that I have a very excellent relationship with Kufor and some how these bodies appeared from nowhere and we are accused. Why would I kill Ghanaians?” Jammeh asked.

Mr.Jammeh says no Ghanaian had been killed by his Government. His denial followed local and international pressure mounted against his Government to explain the circumstances surrounding the demise of over 44 West African Nationals in The Gambia.

Throughout the interview, worried looking Jammeh unsuccessfully tried to build up a defense case for his administration, as questions still lingers in minds of Ghanaians and the civilized world as to when shall justice be meted out to the perpetrators of such an heinous crime.

Mr.Jammeh has been accused of masterminding the killings of these Ghanaians. Well placed sources close to corridors of power in Banjul had earlier informed the Freedom Newspaper that the murdered Ghanaians were mistaken as dissident rebels posed to disrupt Gambia’s fragile democracy back in July of 2005. The arrested West African Nationals were put on board a Ferry from the Coastal village of Barra and later handed to Jammeh’s executioners namely : The late Major Musa Jammeh, the late Captain Tumbul Tamba, Captain Alhagie Martin, Lieutenant Kawsu Camara, alias Bombaredeh, Staff Sergeant Sana Manjang, Sergeant Malick Jatta, Former Inspector General of police Ousman Sonko, Army fugitive Colonel Nudure Cham, Major Momodou Badjie of the GAF Military School and other junior members of The Gambia National Army.

As Ghanaians are determined to drag President Jammeh to court, observers here say Jammeh’s statement contradicts earlier statement reported by his Government that the deaths were victims of seas disaster. The State Television GRTS, had reported in one of their newscast that the Ghanaians drowned, following the capsizing of the vote they were traveling with to Europe. That the bodies were found along the Coastal village of Burufut.

What’s interesting though is that, The Gambian leader had confirmed that these people were murdered. But Jammeh failed to name the killers of these Ghanaians. Perhaps, when he faces the International Court, he would help to furnish the Court with the names of those behind these callous killings.

Meanwhile, two of the Army officers linked to the massacre of the Ghanaians have died. The two, Musa Jammeh widely known as Chemical Ali or Maliamungu and Captain Tumbul Tamba recently died, while the remaining jungullars are still active on the ground.

The Ghanaian Government recently sent a taskforce team who were mandated to investigate the killings of its Nationals in The Gambia. The team first visited Dakar, where it was supposed to interview some witnesses, before proceeding to the Gambia. The Ghanaian team is yet to release the outcome of their investigations.

Jammeh’s statement on the killings of these Ghanaians is likely to anger Ghanaians both at home and abroad. They have been persistently calling on their authorities to vigorously pursue the said killing case against the administration of President Jammeh. Ghanaians say they would not rest until justice is meted out to the perpetrators such crimes against humanity. Jammeh has spoken and the world including Ghanaians would make their judgment on his latest speech, which sounds like an admission of guilt.

Jammeh’s claims that these Ghanaians were murdered and dumped into The Gambia, beats the imagination of many security experts in the country. They believe that such a statement was coming from a desperate President hell bent on covering his favorite killers. That they don’t believe that Gambia’s borders were so porous and fragile that dead bodies can be dumped into the country without the knowledge of the intelligence community. “Never.” insists a top security official on active duty. “The President’s speech is an indictment against his Government. We wondered if his protocol reviewed that tape. So the President is saying that The Gambia is a dumping ground for murdered people abroad? Case close. Jammeh has implicated his Government.” said the official.


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