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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Gov’t says alleged police killer revealed being a Casamance rebel

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By Omar Bah

National Security Adviser Abubakarr Suleiman Jeng informed journalists on Friday that the principal suspect in the killing of two police officers has admitted to being a member of a rebel group in the Casamance.

Ousainou Bojang, who was arrested Wednesday, allegedly shot and killed two police officers and critically injured another on Tuesday at the Sukuta-Jabang roundabout.

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“The suspect has informed us that he is part of a rebel group in Casamance and that he acquired the pistol [murder weapon] in Casamance,” he said.

He clarified that Bojang also informed them that he has never served in any of The Gambia’s security institutions.

“The weapon is not from any of our inventory as far as our arms and ammunitions are concerned, but he has indicated to us that he has fought in the Casamance insurgency. And this is where he acquired the weapon. Unless we get that weapon, we will not be able to give further information,” Jeng said.

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He said six suspects have been arrested in connection with the killings.

“I will not mention their names here, but I can inform you that none of them are associated with any of the security institutions at the moment,” he said.

He said the suspect is helping the police in their investigation.

Jeng said the team of investigators is focusing on the possible motive behind the “ghastly act to establish whether it was a lonely act or a group”. He confirmed that the crime scene was “well managed”, and the team of investigators will conduct a crime scene restructuring to further determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.

“I would like to reiterate that The Gambia is a country governed by law, and no one has the right to extrajudicially take the life of another person. Law enforcers, like civilians, have fundamental human rights and are protected by our constitution,” he said.

He said the investigations are conducted in line with due process and the principles of international standards. “They are impartial and neutral,” he said. He said “no stone will be left unturned in terms of status or affiliation in the incident.

“The incident is unprecedented in the history of this country, and the government will do everything possible to ensure an incident like that doesn’t repeat itself,” he said.

Interior Minister Seyaka Jatta warned that if there is a breakdown of peace and order, the whole country suffers. He described it as disheartening that some people are recording audio and laughing over the deaths of the police officers.

“These officers were deployed there to ensure a free flow of traffic and make movement easy for commuters,” he said.

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