By Kaddy Jawo
Almost thirteen years since 44 Ghanaians were allegedly killed by Jammeh’s hit squad, efforts to get justice for the victims have now gained fresh momentum.
Ismaila Gyan, Alkalo of Brufut Ghana Town, (named for its predominantly Ghanaian population) has told The Standard that they are still devastated and shocked over the killings of their compatriots by Jammeh.
“On that fateful day, I was just coming from the mosque when the police intervention unit (PIU) called me to report to the police station. Upon arrival, they told me that eight people are found dead by the seashore and I should go there and see whether they are from Ghana Town. But when I arrived at the place and saw all the eight men laying dead, I confirmed to the police that I didn’t recognize any of them and they are not from Ghana Town,” he recalled.
“We the Ghanaian community in Ghana Town are really devastated and shocked when we heard the news and we demand justice for all the 44 people who were killed by Yahya Jammeh and we want him back to face all the injustices he has committed under his regime,” he said.
Ghana Town was founded by a group of fishermen from the central region of Ghana in the early 1960s, before Gambia gained its independence and since then the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of the founders have been living there in harmony.
In 2005, 44 Ghanaians and six other African nationals were on transit to Europe and docked on Gambian waters where the immigration officials identified them as security threats. They were allegedly linked to a coup plot and members of Jammeh’s hit squad were alleged to have used machetes, axes, sticks and other crude objects in killing them which culminated in international outcry for investigations into their killings.