By Tabora Bojang
Abdou Aziz Barrow, son of slain Gambian soldier Basiru Barrow, has been talking of chilling experiences his father’s murder caused him.
He was addressing nationwide awareness tour members who are sentising children and youth on their fundamental rights and the importance of their participative role in the transitional justice process.
Barrow, who was only 9 at the time of his father’s death, explained that even at that age going to school he had always asked his mum about his father and she would always reply that he had travelled.
“I only got to know about the brutal killing of my father after reading about it in newspaper publications.
“My father’s death traumatised my family. In fact, I and my siblings had to raise each other because we have no parental figure at home and our mum had to struggle to make ends meet for the family and life was extremely difficult for us,” Abou Aziz Barrow said.
According to him, as a result of the killing of his father, his mother had to work in a small local fast food restaurant, dusk to dawn and had to suffer a vision defect that forced an eye operation because of smoke.
He said even thought the family is yet to get justice, the fact that Yayha Jammeh is no longer the president is itself the beginning of a healing process. “But the only time we will be happy is when Jammeh faces justice,” he said.
He said his family is very encouraged by the steps the new government is taking to serve justice to the victims of Jammeh’s atrocities.
“We were very happy on the day President Barrow came to power because living in a diorship and seeing the face of a person responsible for your ctatfather’s death every day is something that you can’t call easy.”
Sheriff Kijera, the vice president of the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights and Violations, said the centre has a membership of over 4,500 victims from across the country including direct and indirect victims, while urging others especially youth and children to come forward and present their cases to the centre. Barrow was murdered by the AFPRC junta in November1994 accused of plotting a coup.