April 10 Survivors Feel Betrayed by Gov’t.
Survivors of 2000 April 10 and 11 students’ massacre have expressed disappointment with President Adama Barrow’s government, saying the government has betrayed them.
The horrible incident clocks 19 years yesterday, 10 April, 2019 and activists are calling on the government to repeal the Indemnity Act so as to prosecute the culprits.
During the incident, 14 Gambian students including a Red Cross volunteer were gunned down by security forces.
And remembering the day yesterday following a march past at the youth monument at Westfield, Abdou Karim Jammeh, a survivor said it is very disappointing that Barrow’s government hasn’t done anything for them after three years, noting that during Jammeh’s dictatorship rule, they knew they will never get justice.
He called on authorities to reflect on their 2016 elections campaign and deliver on their promises when they were using survivors’ names as a tool to canvas for votes. When the government took over, he said, they promised to take care survivors.
He said not delivering on the elections campaign promises is a real betrayal. “We have been waiting for 19 years and until today, no justice is served for us,” he went on.
Mr. Jammeh said the Turkish Embassy in Banjul once promised to give five of them visas, accommodation, feeding and pay for their medical bills, saying the only thing they were required to take care of was air tickets cost but government would not support them.
He highlighted that since the incident in 2000, life has been very tough for them, adding that it is unfortunate they could not complete their educational careers, had no job opportunities with their health conditions.
He called on government to take care of survivors’ needs particularly their health.
He described the massacre as one of the darkest days of Gambian students’ history and urged government to make the day a national holiday or school holiday. “It is a sad day for students of the country.”
Mustapha Kah, youth commissioner at the TRRC said the TRRC is very concern about survivors plight, and assured them that the TRRC will not pass their recommendations without looking at what best serve the interest of survivors.
He described the incident as a horrific day that affected young people. He noted the TRRC’s ‘Never Again Campaign’ is to ensure dictatorship or something like the 2000 incident never happens again in The Gambia.
“Young people can serve as agents of chance and if they take their rightful positions in the development of the country. We will not have a repeat of what has happened in the past,” he stated.