By Tabora Bojang
The victims of former President Yahya Jammeh have raised concern over the recent release of four people formally suspected to be junglers of the exiled former Gambian leader blamed for widespread human right abuses.
The release of the four suspected junglers was disclosed by the army chief, Lt General Masanneh Kinteh during a press conference. CDS Kinteh had said the men were released after they were extensively interrogated but no evidence was found that ties them to the atrocities, killings and human rights abuse committed during the 22 years of Jammeh’s rule.
But the interim chairperson of the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations, Sheriff Kijera, said it would be incorrect for anyone to suggest that proper investigations were conducted when most of the former enablers of ex-President Jammeh who he claimed have their hands tainted, are still part of the system.
“Our concern as victims is that some of these junglers have been released and we do not know under what basis, we only heard it over the news that there is not sufficient evidence to keep them in detention. Yes, we understand their rights as citizens and we respect that but the government should do more to build their cases with very strong evidence, which we believe cannot happen when you have so many of these perpetrators working in the system and are destroying evidence,” Kijera said.
“You cannot have a proper investigation when the people that are supposed to make the investigation themselves are those accused of the alleged crimes,” he added.
According to him, there should be a serious investigation and vetting of the public service and security institutions to enhance effective institutional reforms.
“Maybe the evidences have been destroyed because you have so many of these perpetrators still in the system and it is their friends that have been arrested. So if you arrest a friend of a perpetrator who is in the system, it may lead them to be arrested as well, so these might compel them to destroy evidences,” he claimed.