By Tuti Bah
DUGA DC, a human rights organization with SENEGO in collaboration with April 10/11 Foundation organized a two day symposium at the GTHI, formerly Gambia Hotel School to commemorate the victims of 2000’s student killings.
Speaking at the event, moderator of the program Ismaila Ceesay said: “This day is not just to commemorate the victims but to remember them as well. It is fitting for us not to remember what happened on April 10/11 when young students who were senselessly killed by state security forces but also to commemorate and memorialize those events because we see those events as a scar in our national conscience.
“In fact that event started as the end of Jammeh’s dictatorship. The purpose of this symposium is what can be done to make sure that justice is done and this will never happen again.”
Speaking earlier, Hon Halifa Sallah, who was among the guest speakers, said forgetting the victims will be the greatest tragedy that will befall the nation. “The human mind is nourished by knowledge, the human heart is nourished by jokes, and the human conscience is nourished by justice and the human will power is nourished by resolution,“ he said.
He said we must ensure that we live in a country where the state and the security personnel serve the people and the laws are designed to serve the people rather than serving as instruments of coercion.
Oumie Jagne, a survivor of the April 10/11 shooting, recounted the pain day when her colleagues were gunned down. She said she wasn’t a student but she was out to save her sister when she was shot. “Justice has to be done,“ she demanded.
In his closing remarks, program officer National Youth Council Alieu Jarju thanked the dignitaries that were present, students, the organizers and all the people that were present at the commemoration of the unforgettable tragedy.