Army warrant officer Ousman Sanneh has revealed that after Coalition candidate Adama Barrow won the presidential election on 2 December 2017, the members of President Jammeh’s hit squad, the Junglers, ran to Casamance and sought refuge at the rebel base in Luluchor.
Speaking to investigators after he was arrested exactly one year ago, Sanneh, 46, a native of Kartong who joined the army in 1991, said after a while, they returned to The Gambia but three weeks after Jammeh went into exile, a top Jungler, Major Nuha Badjie, alerted them that “the situation doesn’t favour” them and that they needed to leave town. He said another Jungler, Lt Michael Correa, raised objection that they could not go and leave their families behind.
However on 18 February 2017, the day President Barrow was sworn to some oaths at the Independence Stadium, Sanneh said Major Badjie gave an order and Warrant Officer Malick Manga called him to inform him that they were summoned to the border to leave the country.
Sanneh said he promised them he would be there but failed to turn up and instead left his phone at his house and went to spend the night in Tanji. He said his wife told him that Malick Manga was calling her and that she told Manga that he [Sanneh had] left to join them.
Sanneh further revealed: “Over the night, I was called by Nuha Badjie that we should meet Paul Bassen for the five vehicles and heavy weapons handed over to him by Nuha Badjie, Modou Jarju (Rambo) Michael Jatta, [Lt Col] Landing Tamba, [Warrant Officer] Fansu Nyabally, and [Lt Col] Sanna Manjang for safekeeping until on Thursday the 23rd of February 2017, I was arrested by some military police for questioning and I gave my statement.”
Sanneh claimed that was told to join the Patrol Team, the official euphemistic term for the Junglers by Alhagie Martin and that after he reported to the unit, it took one month before he was given his weapons which include a pistol and an AK47 with 4 magazines.
Confirming widely held belief that the Junglers were a law unto themselves who in addition to killings, torture, free boozing and prostitution engaged in other illicit affairs, Sanneh said one of the first acts he engaged in as a Jungler was when Michael Jatta picked him to go on patrol along the Casamance border. “I was with Michael Jatta, Modou Jarju, Amadou Badjie (Chairman), Nyabally, Malick Manga, Saul Sambou, Correa and Mustapha Sanneh. We went with five pick-ups and one Jeep to the border at Luluchor to pick cannabis. After distributing the cannabis, we then gathered at the base and shared the money of which I received D7, 000.00. Then we all dispersed.”