Madi Jobarteh, a prominent human rights defender and advocate coordinator of the campaign Bring Jammeh to Justice, has called on the Gambia government to take serious steps towards weeding out people named in various reports to have helped Jammeh commit atrocities.
He was speaking at a recent press conference hosted by the Campaign in the light of new evidence forwarded by Trial International on the killings of West Africa nationals in The Gambia in 2005.
Jobarteh expressed skepticism about the Gambia government’s ability and capacity to investigate such heinous matters when individuals who are found to be giving misleading information on the matter are still holding their positions and others are free in the streets.
”As someone who came on a ticket of restoring democracy in The Gambia, President Barrow has a moral obligation to support the initiative taken by the rights groups in Ghana to bring Jammeh to justice,” he said.
Mr Jobarteh suggested that the Gambia’s foreign Minister should travel to Ghana to express the Gambia government’s commitment on this matter or invite the Ghanaian authorities in Banjul to have some engagement as a start.
”Yes, 44 Ghanaians are killed and Ghana has definitely all the legal obligations and rights to engage in this matter, but more than anyone else it is the Gambia government that has a greater responsibility since this atrocities were committed in the name of the Gambia regardless of who is the president or the government of the day.
”Those so-called rogue soldiers were officials of the Gambian military security system answerable to an elected head of state of the Gambia. So the Gambia’s president must assume that natural responsibility to recognize that these were crimes committed by the former Gambia government and therefore he must work to cleanse our nation’s image by investigating and holding anyone involved to account.”
Last week both Human Rights Watch and Trial International announced that they have new evidence from interviews with 30 Gambian security officials including witnesses which showed that former President Jammeh directed the killings and not rogue elements as an earlier enquiry was misled to believe. The rights groups named senior past and present security and top officials alleged to have been present and others who changed books to hide evidence.