Who Is Sam Sarr?

There is one thing to show a man that he is in error and another to put him in possession of the truth. The Other Truth about Colonel Sarr!

By Yanks Darboe

Post Graduate Law Student, UK

Few years ago I read an article on the closed Independent Newspaper about an exile soldier; ex- Lt. Kejau Touray, who I believe is still in the UK; in this article Lt.Touray stated that he was once alleged to have been plotting a coup to overthrow the government of Yahya Alfonso Juhunkeh Jammeh. According to Touray there was no fallacy in this allegation; in fact his only crime was to speak for the minority mandinko soldiers in the Gambia National Army; as a result the Jammeh’s henchmen wanted to eliminate him from the Army by alleging him of a coup plot. However; thanks to one man in the whole of Gambia, who saved him by defending his innocence; this man was no other than Ex-Army Commander Colonel Samsudeen Sarr. Yet Lama Jallow claimed to know a lot about Colonel Sarr; but never knew or forgets to mention this benevolent side of Colonel Samsudeen Sarr. This begs me to question does Lama really know Colonel Sarr, as he wants us to believe him? Or does he merely want to disgrace him on freedom; so as to stop him from demanding Sana Sabally to empty his closet about the crimes he committed against the Gambian lives on November 11? If the latter is the motive for Lama’s sinister campaign, then he should be shamed of himself; Sabally was no better than Jammeh.

To put Lama’s mind at rest I do not know this Colonel Sarr person; and I could not care less about him either. But one thing I do know from reading Lama’s account of what he knows about Sarr; he could not have been as bad as Sana Sabally. Or may be Lama has more revelations against Sarr to come. However, I do not think Lama will be able to sway any decent Gambian that Sarr was a monster; if he is unable to reveal to us that Sarr had indeed killed someone in the Gambia. If he cannot prove this we shall all give Sarr the benefit of the doubt; that Lama could be Sana Sabally himself; or his brother Sainey Sabally; or his henchman Mathew K Jallow; using the anonymous name of Lama Jallow. It’s easy these days to be anyone; I mean even I could be Yahya Juhunkeh Jammeh tomorrow. Saying that; I must commend the editorial stand of freedom newspaper; as always they have made the right decision; Lama has every right to be Lama; even though he might not be Lama, but who cares as long as Lama tells the truth!Lama’s main allegations here about Colonel Sarr; were that he had threatened Suwaibou Conateh to write the July 1994 coup speech. To tell the truth Mr Conateh was a genius to write a powerful speech like that under duress; by the way, which speech was it? Was it the one read by Lt Barrow on the day of the coup or the one read by Jammeh later? If the little I know about Colonel Sarr is correct; his English was not as bad as Yahya Jammeh; he could not spell his own name properly, when became our chairman ‘Tony Dabaa!’ However, Sarr was an author, who wrote a book entitled ‘Meet Me in Conakry’; was it not the same Samsudeen Sarr? Moving on, I sighed relieve to know that Colonel Sarr had not kill Mr Conateh, from Lama’s own account of events.

On the second main issue of Lama’s claims, was the role of Colonel Sarr in the arrest and subsequent trial of Mballow Kanteh and the Farrafenni attackers; I beg to differ with him on this point; we should not forget that this bandits have killed innocent soldiers at Farrafenni. They, in my opinion, have committed the same crime as Sana Sabally; they have taken innocent lives without the ruling of a judicial proceeding in the Gambia. Contrast this to actions Lama stated to have been taken by Sarr and his soldiers when they caught these culprits; they have brought them to justice; regardless of Kangaroo that justice system might have been; it was still better than the crime that Mballow and his cohorts have committed against innocent soldiers. Besides if my memory serves me well some of these attackers are still alive in Mile Two prison. This is the decent thing that Sana Bairo Sabally should have done to Lt Barrow and other victims of the November 11. But one thing we now know clearly; from Lama’s account, is that Sana was no Samsudeen Sarr. The former was a merciless murderer, who dumped his victims into toilets for the maggots to feed on; whilst the latter was an ordinary soldier, who served his country. For Lama’s remaining claims I leave Sarr to defend himself on those or Ann and Jarra to confirm their truth.However, it was very disheartening to see Lama trivialised and mockingly jovialised the plight of Colonel Sarr and others; whilst they were under the mercy of the devil’s advocate; Sana Sabally. Such writings of Lama were grotesque and should be condemned by every decent Gambian; who believes in the basic principles of human rights. We should never galvanise torture. I can agree with Lama that Sarr like many soldiers who served under Jammeh, were bad; but there were monsters among them and Sarr was not one of them! And please tell Lama not to mention Chogan, he definitely does not know him!

“There is one thing to show a man that he is in error and another to put him in possession of truth” John Locke 1632-1704.
Meanwhile, here is another letter written by a Gambian based in the UK. Please read on…
Did you really do it?

Mr Editor,

I do not know Col. Samsudeen Sarr personally but I watched him gave evidence  in the Kartong Attack trial when I was a sixth former at Gambia High School,  and believe me or not, he won my admiration. When I was a school boy, I had  always believed that the Army is a place for school drop-outs and academic underachievers. So, the Army has never been  my cup of tea, and to see somebody like Sarr with an impeccable intellectual standing was a big surprise to me.

Since then, I have always considered him a valuable asset in  the Army, and was very much saddened by his subsequent summary dismissal. I  just felt it was a loss for the country. However, having read in the your  medium that he had presided over the torture session of an inmate without  any judicial sanction whatsoever, all my admiration for sarr is now a subject of review.

Torture in all its form and circumstance is unacceptable and must not be condone. Hence, I consider it absolutely cruel, inhumane and disgusting for the state and/its agents including the Army, to use it as a weapon of suppression against political opponents either percieved or real.

So, my questions to Col. Sarr are; are you really a Human Rights violator? Do you have blood on your hands? If you have, then I think you deserve to be treated like a typical vagabond the Gambia Army has being producing since 1994. We need answers and we need it now.


Concerned UK Resident

Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 (Archive on Wednesday, May 30, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI

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