By Tabora Bojang
The Solo Sandeng Foundation, a non-profit and nonpartisan foundation that seeks to proliferate knowledge and understanding of the core values and legacy of Solo Sandeng, on Friday held a memorial march in honour of the late UDP youth leader who was allegedly murdered by the former regime after leading a peaceful protest that sought for electoral reforms in April last year.
Speaking on behalf of the foundation Mr. Draman Touray described Solo as a hero who he said sacrificed his life in the struggle to end impunity against citizens of the Gambia.
“I want to acknowledge the lions and lionesses of Gambia who really sacrificed for us to be here today together,” he said.
He explained that the most amazing thing for him when he met Solo in Dakar and warned him of the risk in staging a protest in the Gambia under Yahya Jammeh. “Solo told me, if by losing my life the Gambia shall be free, I am ready to sacrifice my life,” Touray recalled.
Mr. Touray added that foundation is here to stay to promote equality and justice for all and to ensure the Gambia that Solo Sandeng lost his life in fighting for, remains free forever.
The leader of UDP Ousainou Darboe, who also doubles as the foreign affairs minister, paid respect on behalf of the entire UDP to Solo Sandeng and all the patriotic Gambians who took up the challenge to effect meaningful and long lasting change in the political landscape of the Gambia.
He said that typical march will always cherish the memories of their departed colleagues and the measurable contribution Solo made in the evolution of a new political culture of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights. “That is why we will never relent in ensuring that all the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are brought to justice wherever they may be no matter how long it will take. The era of condoning impunity is gone forever in the Gambia and let no one assume that they can get away with the false imprisonment, torture, murder, extra judicial killings and illegal burials,” he said.
The newly elected National Assembly member of Tallinding Constituency, Fatoumatta Jawara, who also took part in last year’s April 14 peaceful demonstration, said that despite its nature this is a nonpartisan affair and the day should be commemorated all over the country.
She commended the Government of the Gambia for exhuming the remains of Solo Sandeng for forensic examination and proper Muslim burial and for filling a law suit against the cause of his murder.
Speaking on behalf of the Sandeng family Yusupha Darboe thanked the foundation and everybody for their immense support to the family since the event occurred last year.
“We want to let you know that the family is appreciative for this effort and this collaboration,” he remarked.