Army spokesperson Major Lamin K Sanyang have confirmed to The Point of the release of four members of Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh’s hit squad “junglers” on Saturday, just less than 24 hours after Justice Minister Abubacarr had a meeting with victims of the former regime who rejected the decision.
Major Sanyang confirmed that Omar Jallow, Amadou Badgie, Malick Jatta and Pa Ousman Sanneh were released on Saturday morning. They had earlier testified before the truth-seeking commission; TRRC where they admitted their participation in some heinous human rights violation, including torture and murder of civilians and security personnel on the orders of former president Jammeh. He also confirmed that the four men have been suspended from the Army until the end of the TRRC.
Some weeks ago, the media intercepted a letter purportedly from the justice ministry signed by Solicitor general Cherno Marena urging the Gambia Armed Force to release Malick Jatta, Omar Jallow and Amadou Badjie who all confessed before the TRRC to taking part in multiple killings in a brutal murder of innocent people. They have been in custody without trial for over two and half years.
Justice minister Abubacarr Tambadou later called a press conference where he gave justification that the decision to release the men was in line with the goal to establish the truth about every death, torture, and disappearance. “We have come a long way together and we must continue to push on. Let us make every effort to establish the truth about all the victims and not just some. Every victim family deserve to know the truth about their loved ones,” he told journalists.
He said his goal was to establish the truth about every death, every torture, and every disappearance, and all his efforts, including the release of the three men, who were first named before the addition of the forth one, was geared towards achieving that objective.