By Alagie Manneh
A member of ex-Gambian leader Jammeh’s hit squad, known as the Junglers, has said that he is ready to accept his fate and pay the price for his serious crimes.
Staff sergeant Omar Jallow, aka Oya, has been on administrative leave since the release of a government White Paper on the recommendations of the TRRC, to which he confessed taking part in many killings. He was a member of Jammeh’s death-squad, accused of numerous murders, including the notorious 2013 killings of two US-Gambian businessmen and veteran journalist Deyda Hydara in 2004.
The TRRC has since recommended Oya and the other Junglers to be prosecuted for the numerous killings and disappearances, and the ex-assassin, in a joint interview with The Standard and TV5Monde, a French television network, said he is ready to reap what he sowed.
“[The killings] is the main reason why I stayed back; to face whatever is to be faced,” he said at his base in Hamza Barracks.
He added: “I am not going to run. I’m going to stand and let Gambians know what happened to their loved ones. I also have loved ones. I have kids. So, I will not like it if something of that nature [like the murders] happened to my kids.”
Puffing his cigarette, a sorry-looking Oya told of his Jungler adventures with seeming regret, and said that they were “hard times”.
“We were being sent into a venture we didn’t like, but because it was our profession, we had no say. You can’t say no, and the only thing at the end of the day is regret. Because you did something that you didn’t like. And now, I am not happy that I am sitting [unemployed] because I need to sweat for my country and work for my country,” he said.
He said that he is happy to accept his fate by virtue of his TRRC revelations.
“If revealing everything that I know about what has happened will cost me my life, I am ready for it, definitely. If I am to go to jail, I am ready for it. Because the [crimes] have already been done. It is just like when you pour water on the ground you cannot get it back. I do not proclaim myself as a righteous somebody, but you need to tell people what happened and what you did. This is how I think about it. Let me remain [here in The Gambia], and tell them what has happened. If they can understand me, fine, if they prefer for me to go to jail, I am ready for it,” he said.