Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission Pt1 14.01.2019



stuff and no video recording apart of course obviously from the camera crew Thank You Secretariat and Thank You Commissioner three council rarity good morning miss good morning madam chair before we start I hand over the floor to you to lead the path briefly audhu billahi min ash-shaitani rajeem raheem alhamdulillahi rabbil alameen rahim allah almighty in year a now we are gonna stein even as far the most of you want to have been busy knowledge will you ever do anything all of the with the stuff you know but surely and all of them get along why not not happy for that means serving Mahalo means of it should be me Jeroboam II sorry enough fact if you look at women so hard in each other not follow him who have been as American oscidyne us insurance was allegedly he was officially supported nothing energy not even us in Allah Allah in Peter who is saloon allah nabiyeen ominous Allahu alayhi wa salamu ala alihi wa sahbihi also la votación de gasolina the colony Lord God of truthful muscle of grace love compassion reality RFC are gathered here under your umbrella this beginning of this new week we give ourselves on reservedly under your control on your Holy Spirit's direction we pray that all the proceedings throughout this week will be ordered and the things will come out for good for the common good of all who live in this land this reacts to Christ our Lord amen beep docile but may I ask that the witness be brought please Madame chair this would be our fourth witness may you please stand and take the oath I allow the convict I allowed you can take whether I'll speak the truth swear that I respect the truth the whole truth the whole truth and nothing but it and so happy Allah good morning mr. Cantor whoo welcome to the TRF see we are now ready to take your testimony you have just taken the oath are you ready to begin yes please somebody kindly provide us with your full name I am retired captain illogical what is your date of birth I was born on the 6th of January 1964 we're about where you go in Java called and the North Valley Division Central Valley mr. Cantor earlier on I briefed you about the protocol in these proceedings in order to enable the recorders and the tries transcribers to get everything that we say we should allow about three to five seconds between the speeches that we make when I speak on end you allow two to three seconds before you start speaking and I would also do the same do you understand very well you told us that you were born in Yabba Khulna where did you go to school a crow phone place I went to school angelical die itself and primary school and then proceeded to committed high school when did you finish a meter high school 1982 what did you do after that give us a detailed chronology of what you did soon after you finished immediate high school what immediately I finished emitted high school at the age of 17 18 I think I wanted to be a journalist and so I try to pursue this career with the Ministry of Information I think the director then was the veteran s why boku nari at some point and my efforts were frustrated for some reason I can't explain and the second option was to join these security services it was in nineteen ninety eighty two itself I tried to join his underwear in national Zelda but my father won't allow it so I aborted the idea our soon after I went to join the Ministry of Agriculture as a researcher researcher and write rice Department in support lost posted to Daniel before this time did you make an attempt to join any other security outfit in Gambia oh yes I tried to join the police also as a cadet officer I tried to apply to be Canada Peter it was not possible also because when I handed in my application I was told there was a form to fill and somewhere stated that somebody needed to ascertain sort of a guarantee a political guarantee so politically marry facility first dr. lemon gave us a house for Central Valley but he was not around did you see his name again doctor Lamine who dr. Lerman que vas aho la fossa all right so he wasn't around he was out of town and I decided to go see dr. his counterpart dr. Manny I was successful in reaching him and I explained my case I told him as my representative as a few sources but also from Buddy who I think but the facilities of yoga then he asked me what party my father supported on my father supported I told him I wasn't interested you we get there so he sent the other piece of did you eventually get into the police no I didn't so you want us to believe that you didn't get into the place simply because doctor money would not sign your papers because you wouldn't tell him which political party your father supported correct Alec could be correct I'm not sure if that's totally correct but doctor sajo doctor money will sign my papers so my effort was abortions what did you do next and then I continue to pursue a job naturally as a school leaver I needed a job I went to the Ministry of I went to agriculture and gotta go may I announce for the record that the chairman dr. Levine Caesar has just joined these proceedings mr. witness could you proceed you said you went to the Ministry of Agriculture to look for a job and what happened after that after that I got a job with the Ministry of Agriculture and I was posted to support your town area and what to do what was the nature of the job you got as an agricultural extension worker how long did you remain in that post about two years I didn't jump over to you and what happened why did you leave well I thought I needed to pursue further my my my dream of the communist security service officer and I came down to binder to find out if I could get another job Navin to the Ministry of Education they posted me to crab island second story to teach do you recall which year this was this was in 1985 and what were you to teach at crab island I taught agricultural science for about it was did you continue your career in teaching now I made another jump the army came on so I went early today why did you go to the army well cancel I told you it was my dream to further the security so the army was the perfect person which year did you go to join the army in 1985 can you tell us about that how you joined and what happened to you while you are in the army how your progress yes 1995 I joined the army the badge called forth in take could you clarify that which injured in take for and and I proceeded and yeah so it was recruit training and we passed out we all have their responsibilities somewhere commissioned or does not of course not many would be commissioned of course many are called few are chosen we are you commissioned at that time no I was in commission did you get around upon completion of training yeah I I had a landscaper rank and I continued working with the administration in administration I've been office until 1990 I got frustrated again because I thought I was qualified to be an officer I applied several times and I was refused but lock him around when the British team then the British Army training team spotted my challenge they they insisted that I should be shortlisted and I was uplifted and it because I performed top of my class and that's how I came to the other so you got Commission to eventually yes I got commercialization which year was this of course you cannot get commission without going through well under normal circumstances you can't get the Commission without going through officer training overseas so in 1990 october/november having completed the CSB which is called the Commission selection board which every officer or every candidate goes through to pass before you become an officer an officer cadet and eventually an officer for the first time in the history of the Gandhi and a candidate was able to pass this test halfway through the course and that's what I did I did that demonstrating the fact that despite the fact that I was denied for five years to get commissioned I proved to the team I proved to the army that I could do it and I asked halfway through the course when you completed the course when you passed where you given any particular rank or status in the army before you went for any for the trailing yes I was an officer cadet touch the ground is a white patch normally we're hit for a long time people who do it for a year – what I had it for a month and then I went to Santos I was sent to Santos debris by scientists you mean Santos military academy yes I mean this Royal Military Academy Santos you came and how long was the course in Santos my sorrows is supposed to be a year cause but for overseas students sometimes you need to go to another institution a prison horse training institution and it is supposed to acclimatize you get used to the country to landy the language if you do not speak English in your home country you also have the opportunity to learn other skills such as communication and so on surrender for six months that is the Royal Army education core Center in Mexicans fear did you eventually finish your course in Santos yes I did could you kindly tell us the year please the year you completed Santos it was 1992 sir and you returned to Gambia soon after your course but yes I did what happened after that yes I got Commission on second litter and took a position as Platon from an L at you know barracks did you do any further training after Santos yes the following year I went to the United States for 10 a military school for a young officer who Yogi's are spinning spinning horse that would be in which year like I said before Nia that would be 1993 thank you very much and what position did you hold upon your returns to the Gambia i i served briefly as a pleasure command what you know and then you may remember the Nigerians were here I found an adherence here and the early they thought it was better for me to move to the army headquarters to be a staff officer I combined the duties of a press and public relations officer plus so2 officer staff officer 3 to responsible for administration and logistics you talked about the British having been responsible for your selection but – or your shortlisting arse candidate for officer cadet can you tell us briefly about the presence of the British in the Gandia National Army in those years the British came to the Gambia on the education of the gander government to help us support and train the Gambia national and so it was a matter of Parliament to think 1983-1984 and then the ANA came into being in 1984 so our part was 1985 sweeper say that we went in quite and they instituted a start of the army and instituted discipline and ethics and recommendation what towards degree of success would you rate the efforts of the British in establishing discipline and regimentation hi I know that was fun because I trained with them also in their best academic and Santa so I would read them without bias as the best in the world so they dig they came and set up an army for us they saw what an army was supposed to be like and what we were supposed to do what an army was supposed to be like in a democracy did the British continue with the army or the base of the quantities yet the police left at some point they they are mandated fired they they left but of course with not without controversy I think they left at a time when the army was going through a lot of difficulties I guess there will be a question to that effect but I better take this opportunity to say but when they left the army was not after all okay troops had returned from his peacekeeping operations and they were dissatisfied with how they were handled the allowances and so on so they left and then there was a lot of dissatisfaction within the grandpa can you kindly tell us about this dissatisfaction what it entails or entailed at the time I think when they came from Liberia in the late nineties and early night late eighties and early nineties they felt very disappointed that upon arrival they have difficulty they had difficulty getting their allowances due to them so it affected their morale it affected their their output it affected their performances so they had been a lot of Ronco within the runs between the rank-and-file and the officers especially those at the top the commander especially and the Ministry of Defence and it is a common story in our soldiers whereas they're detained and mile to somewhere dismissed because they couldn't get their use at the time so that became a turning point for the Annie for what perhaps also contributed to the 1994 forever if those problems or those mutinous as you call them have an impact on the leadership of the army yes come to left there it had a real impact on the leadership because there are no more confidence in the leadership of the and the command at some point was moved to France has to be ambassador of cancer or so and he was replaced by a gentleman called Magoo for how long dismembered staff ask Amanda do you know well I would know because at that point I was moving in and out of the country I was doing from one postal order so all this happened very quickly so I don't know how long our your first one when you return from Fort Benning for training who was commander of the un– life on Nigerians in the Army and the color of a canal Abu Qatada was the commander of the army so you're telling us that in between your trips in and out of the country Marva cube was removed and replaced by a Nigerian call tada is that right event can we be a little more formal in our language do you mean yes I'm sorry yes thank you very much and before we talk about the issue of the Nigerians in the army I want you to you have early on indicated that there was a lot of dissatisfaction in the army you mentioned one factor that is the non-payment of allowances to veterans from from Liberia and you can you tell us what other problems there were in the army at this stage I noticed that you have taken out a copy of your statement could you kindly put that aside for the time being and we just we just go through your testimony if it becomes necessary for you to refer to your statement I would directly but in the meantime kindly tell us what were the other problems in the army put aside the issue of the Nigerian for the time being what are the other problems in the army between say 1990 to 1993 the Nigerian society like I said be non-payment of part payment issues of allowances and involvements occurring from skipping was one that was also command breakdown in command and control within the Armed Forces can you explain what that means they down in command and control within the army I'm some soldiers didn't have confidence in their commanders and it is important in the Army or in the military that soldiers have total confidence in their commanders that will teach them a lot do you know what were the reasons for this lack of confidence in the command I know there's corruption I know and out of world in the outer country in the government and so this corruption tendency reflected very much upon the army I saw there was nepotism there was corn even but there was pickle juice I cited my own case where I was denied Commission for five years even though I was qualified I realized people were Commission without even passing through the essential requisite training course or CSV that is the Commission selection board and they got Commission notwithstanding those also instead they were also instances of command that taking soldiers to his own farm to walk and libertarian philosophy would call this slavery in my opinion that in the in that sense where somebody is forced to walk without a that will be slavery and that that's exactly what happened in the 1990s it is under 90s when the commander's farm was opened so used to go there once I refused to go and fire never went I refused to go and I nearly got dismissed so just complain a lot they they had no choice but to take turns going to the commander's farm the Engineering Corps or the of the army who were responsible for building houses another thing we are also taking to the commander's house to build houses very common so these were very demoralizing we are supposed to work for individuals it's supposed to work for the government how about the conditions in the barracks were there any problems with that yes housing wasn't good food wasn't good we describe the food as whatever the tool that's what what I what a chilled water water – yes you know – in our language in the – sauce so water water – this is how we used to describe it and even the cook chief cook would call it whatever the tool kakugane galactica would in a body so this was the food that we were forced to force down on all truth and the tea was in booty that so food was in booth housing was in incentives we are not soldiers who are standing along roadsides waiting to get home to get work waiting begging for leave to go to work that wasn't that was in though that was very demoralizing you told us that there was nepotism and cronyism did the local politics have anything to do with that yes I think what happened in the outer world always reflects on the inner what happened in and in the government was what was reflected in the army there was corruption in in government there was nepotism in government during President Garrison 30 years we've seen it all over we're all enough now we notice things we read stories of corruption and journalists being charged and dragged to court for making allegations against ministers who were found wanting one way or the other like the tick's case and Emani who accused thoroughly sajo and landing jealous uncle for example nothing came out of it I think what happened was if anything Sabri was promoted he became the vice president which serves Albany who was promoted from a finance minister to whatnot for the violence I became vice president anyway from a minister a ministry to vice president notwithstanding the corruption allegations and we are you suggesting that this was also one of the problems that lead to dissatisfaction with in the arm ouu you asked me if there was any kind of thing we we are citizens also so just are citizens not only do we live in barracks they also live between the country and they see what is what is happening between the within the country so what is happening there is what is tolerated within the military as well so a communities get up go to my farm circus get up and go and walk my lucky Thank You mr. witness my question was you you had earlier explained that there was corruption and then you cited this example where there were allegations of corruption against mr. Sahu Cervelli and he was thereafter promoted to become vice president and Minister of Defence my question to you is whether this event had an impact on the soldiers in the army yeah it had an effect on soldiers who were politically alive you know you don't expect junior soldiers to catch these things but some of them would but the officer corps was really a life – what was happening in the country I remember you know an army is an extension of protection your word or the word you use was the life that the army was Allah the officer Cole was alive to that particular fact how did they receive that information we read we listened to news just like Odyssey everybody else we read papers like for yeah for example which at the time was very instrumental in shaping our our understanding and racing our horizon to what was happening in – in in the country so we pretty well understood what was happening in the country and it was in good let me rephrase the question we are you happy about that information that see Rosa Valley who's been alleged as being corrupt at that time that you mentioned was promoted to become vice president and Minister of Defense were you happy about I thought you asked the question in the window the other way round yes we couldn't be happy how could really happy when things are not you know in the country and many others how about the other genie offices apart from yourself how do you read the mood at the time when she who serve Ali was appointed to this to these two important positions I don't want to emphasize this as the single most important case of that affects soldiers also part is not the most important we had other issues there and what issues at the time I I agree mr. witness I just want to hammer home what all these factors were and take them one by one let's now focus on this particular issue you said you are not happy as an as an officer how about the other Jinny offices were they happy about the situation I want to speak for anybody but I guess they were not all so happy so you did say that there were other more important factors could you tell us about those factors the army went to the point where it looked like belong to an individual family or an individual clan or an individual entity or a business entity and there was no other knew whatsoever to do anything you could complain you Craven complained out loud you couldn't do that it's a discipline organization so we saw these things happen people passing through the back way getting what they want you know lobbying and so on and an ami is supposed to be a discipline entity you use the word it's not the phrase rather it's not supposed to be current why client was there a problem with regards to class we saw at the very top of the army friends and family and in some cases also we're gonna force we saw all these things happen there and we took note of them this mr. witness what I'm trying to get out of you is those things you saw happening tell us about them I'm not gonna mention those names but I know that you know that guy was there I would say I would mention his name because he was the commander and you could look at the deer and you look at the officer call it was 10 15 officers have some connection with him directly or indirectly how was that received in the army not favorable could you tell us more about that how people felt like I said I can't tell you how everybody felt I can only tell you how I felt I was not prepared to go forward I was not good at continued with the army at some point I was ready to leave until lock him away the British said no you wouldn't leave because you can be a good officer and we believe you can do it so that's how things shaped or for me but I guess there were people who also left the army because they were dissatisfied after five sixes you talked about the presence of the Nigerian officers in the army you said you went for training and when you return you found the Nigerians in charge do you recall that yes I found the Nigerians on the ground the commander was Dada he brought a team of trainers so cool so that's why it's called Nigerian Army training team in the first place so he was commander of the army in the first place we thought that it is unconstitutional for a foreigner to command a sovereign army if it is not a war situation we went through this before and is under merit perhaps I won't say much about that I don't know very it about Delaware but in the Army it's not supposed to be like that being a foreigner should command how does it feel when a foreigner becomes president of the Gambia or becomes a minister or a cabinet minister so we felt that something was wrong here we will have the Nigerian scrum command our army as if any team they will come up with a small team of trainers establish the offices and technically advise us on the way forward but they came here and took over and so that was not right up to what level did they take over in terms of the command structure well they were recommended they were the staff officers a Gambian is a commander only if he is second to a Nigerian I was second to a Nigerian as public relations officer staff officer so that was it and we had to contend with that how did the men feel about that I would ask you how didn't you officers felt and also the senior officers for now how did the men feel about the fact that their commanders were Nigerians the men might not have been much into politics of the army at the time they only knew that periodically the army would be stripped of its sovereignty from time to time but what that meant to them might not matter but for a mo for the officer class that was very very funny and even the men wear some we're not absurd they didn't agree with that how could we undergo this periodic change of God and all the time it they're foreigners what is what is wrong with our commanders I did not educated enough are they not trained enough to train us so these were the questions that they were asking and we felt ashamed of ourselves I trained in Santos and I trained with British officers I trained with officers all over the world and we did very very well came back here finally and here who AM so did not attend those institutions and I look I washed him I washed them and I showed him in action and I knew they didn't get it right you have talked about yourself you have talked about the men how about the origin your offices those who are at your level how did they feel about the presence of the Nigerians and the positions the Nigerians held at the time I they were equally dissatisfied to what extent I don't know but almost all of them expressed similar dissatisfaction that Nigerians were in our army telling us what to do sometimes condescendingly how we have to put up with all this all this hardship and humiliation at that point I don't know how the other officers felt but for us the junior officers I mean the left hands and the second latrines we it was to have were there any problems regarding the allocation of resources facilities and privileges I'm not okay with the budget then an asset now but I know that the army had very little allocation and that's why we had problems with food we have problem with accommodation transportation and logistics because the Army is as efficient as its logistics transportation and facilities so you cannot have an efficient and without you know all these requirements that's why we we run into all these problems of lack of motivation and satisfaction how did the junior officers feel let me rephrase the question where the Gambian officers are par with the Nigerian officers in terms of facilities that we are available today so no not not at all if you'll allow me to direct on that and I believe in I didn't swear more much more provided for they had many many allowances housing even though they are a technical a technical team they had all the facilities we saw them in the Nigerian Army elephant salary in The Gambia army was equal to 11 and Colonel sorry in the Nigerian Army but when they came here they received two three times our our salary and they had comfortable housing transportation and so on we had to share cuts in adherence they were covered who did that disparity have any impact on the feelings of the junior officers Gambian junior officers in the army we precise yes how did you didn't your officers at the time feel about the situation well we felt we were being toyed around and we were being humiliated and insulted and in agreeance knew that in agreeance knew that we were not we were not happy I think at some point they they realized that we were not happy so they came up with what was called the terms and conditions of salaries recommendations for the government so they could also try to upgrade our conditions see how best we could get more transport allowances and House housing as offices and men so I was part of the Commission that set of the terms and conditions of service and the unhear course so in a sense what you're saying is okay the presence of the Nigerians had a lot of negatives but it also had some positives including the reorganization of the army and the preparation of the tacos that is the terms and conditions of service it's not what you say yeah it is a unwanted intended consequence of of that they came and they gave us tacos to their credit yes they gave us tacos they came up or okay we could have we have asked for it they refused but when imaginin SEC amended it they they accepted so a commission was set off to look into the living conditions of troops and their commanders and they recommended I think at the time $700 if all four majors and a ball for housing and captions and under $700,000 he for niggas and above captions on no under 700 the troops 300 or so for housing and there were similar ones is for transports as well so that was a bit of it missing space for for us but of course it's still not because still not enough for for us we continued with our humiliation it was not the material benefit wasn't or it didn't it didn't solve the problem we wanted our army that was it when you once said we wanted our army you are referring to junior officers are distinct I think even senior officers and under men no doubt about it the difference is how did we handle it at our different levels now let's talk of let's talk about the senior offices how did they respond to the presence of the Nigerians occupy and having them occupied command positions within down the deaths was different from Earth's the Guinea offices then they where I'm quite mute about about it I guess because they thought that at some point the Nigerian Army Trinity will leave and it would be their turn to step in who held what responsibility would depend on the Nigerian recommendation so they were very mindful of that fact I think and that's why they were very mute and I would describe it as I think they were puppets intelligence what do you mean by that can you further explain what you mean by the statement that they were puppets of the Nigerians yeah what we fought tooth and nail janay offices to ensure that we get what we want including the departure of 9 years for the government to allow us to exercise what we've learned in institutions that we went to senior officers were not having any of it they were busy trying to satisfy the Nigerians do you know why they were trying to satisfy the Nigeria's I cited the fact that they were busy competing among themselves who would occupy what position when the Nigerians leave left so the Nigerians were there and there was no time limited I think at some point there was no time limit so it became a little bit frustrating then they were I think it was like hey this guy would be commander when the Nigerians leave or this guy would be so true – with the deputy – so it was it felt like that for them for us it wasn't funny it was they shouldn't be here in the first place you said the senior officers we're puppets what would you say to this question would they do anything the Nigerians asked them to do at the time yes now let's look at the Jeannie offices second leftenant leftenant how did they respond to the Nigerians they had it very tough with us because they saw us as defiant not only defiant they saw us as people who did not accept their authority outright people who challenged and their their ability to deliver because we saw that they were not delivering they were not doing what we thought they were here for and they and they knew it so it did not became it and you give us an example of an instance in which you thought the Nigerians did not do what they were supposed to do we once had we once had an exercise in ku'Damm for example and the exercise was supposed to be a training a training exercise the entire army was there and the organization was half-baked the execution was zero we stood there we looked we watched them perform we stood there and we couldn't understand that these were people who were sent to us to train us we were going to do it better so from them that they are we thought something serious had gone wrong when you said we who are you referring to at this stage I am referring to begin your offices did you have a discussion about this as geniuses well yes we had and we sat on a tree at some point and let them do what they were doing it was their option swear characterized by laziness and indifference we saw we stood aside and said this is the training to you so we we just went aside and said we needed to do something about these people because they are not here for us they are here for their pockets they because they've got houses and this supposed to deliver and they are not they were not what do you mean by this statement we stood aside a new father explained that in in military terms what does that entail what does it mean if I learnt surgery and I was supposed to operate on an operator on a piece and I tell the doctor calm with another instrumentation when that is not suitable for surgery and wanted to pay for it on that particular patient the best option would be for me as a qualified surgeon to step aside and look because otherwise I would be guilty of modern just like him where you guys rebelling against the Nigerian command at that time yes somehow yes we were we were we made them know that they needed to put their hearts together at some point because this was not how to train an army we were with the British we knew how they operated and they came and this time they were telling us things that were not in any pump that they were not in any training manual I guess it is like you take a weapon and go stand there or something I I just couldn't understand it didn't fall in place the kick show was didn't fall in place and could you recall which offices we did new officers gathered under the tree to talk about this some of us some of us yes and those who went there I was dancing at a Edward was there what was his rank at the time yeah Kubo today was there what was his hobby was there what was his during your discussion did you reach an agreement as to what to do about that situation yes we thought we should raise awareness of the hopeless situation that it was not it was in the right way we are not going the right in the right direction the Nigerians were not good for us in this in this situation if it had been only for justifying their pay or maybe grab some money and go back to Nigeria and then leaving us alone at some point but I think they were a bit condescending of us they wanted to humiliate us at every point and we knew they did not know so that complicated the matter so we said look we needed to show them that we won't take it how were you to do that at that point we are not quite sure what to do because we knew a mutiny was wrong we won't we won't do that but we were prepared to inform the commanders they themselves or perhaps during much of the Ministry of Defense and and and put across our grievances and so on but look where would we go the Ministry of Defence itself was not in order there wasn't a single military background but personnel apart from the the staff officer one staff officer the rest of the Ministry of Defence had no idea what really tree was like was that also one of your problems yes that was also one of our columns because I think I bump into data one day and then he warned me said your pen would put you in trouble one day that's what he told me why because I told him that at the Ministry of Defence we needed more more stuff with military background than we presently have and he didn't think that was a comment that I should have made I also cited the fact that logistics was in short supply I said the world is changing we need to change wrong why won't we have computers by now why is everything manual why would we type and store our information manually we needed we needed computers and that call for resources that was a write-off I made you know that they have asked all of us to write something so we wrote I know that he didn't like it so he told me outright said but sorry sir but that was my opinion he has to write that's what I wrote still at Kadam besides entertaining thoughts excuse me of a mutiny or going to your commanders and informing them about your grievances did you entertain any other thoughts as to how you would deal with that situation yeah I guess a few weeks after we returned from Koran we decided to see again we beheld a meeting a clandestine meeting at you know to talk more about this to brainstorm and we decided that we couldn't get rid of the Nigerians without getting rid of the government itself so then the idea of getting rid of the government started to float very first time can you kinda tell us who was at that meeting only um yeah I was there Edward was there Yankel I was there so could you kindly tell us full names please name and rank oh yes Edward sing at it second left hidden Edward sing utter second left identity on Google today No Yoko was in sorry haider Latin and Bushido guru left second legend alpha Kinte I think can you give us hydras full name please so I knew hiders full name because we didn't spend long together he came from these under what was his rank at the time he was a second lieutenant back to the issue of the code on just one question do you recall when that exercise in coudn't took place yeah this must be song we're in an I can't I can't be sure I don't know exactly but I I assume it was runny fellows around of which year 1994 you said few weeks later after you returned to barracks you held a meeting with barracks are you referring to I am referring to yield embarks the home of the infantry of Gambia national you mentioned those who were involved in that meeting and you mentioned a young cobertura left-handed was he present or was he not present he was not preserved was he present at the discussion you had under the tree in corral yes I think he was there in your discussion at Windham barracks you mentioned Lefton and Shanna saw Ali left enhancing art a left hand and Barrow left to learn Kinte unless an aunt sorry go Hodari was here a Jami present left an entire Jami no he wasn't present time they tell us what happened in that so-called first clandestine meeting yes after yeah we open the meeting with our usual idea of what can we do what could we do about this situation and I've done now we are clandestine means that we've got to be very we have some ideas we thought it was very careful because we had a Nigerian say who are not only very good at making holes but also how to foil cooks so we were very careful of that mindful and we agreed that this government needed to go rightly or wrongly and that is what honestly we we started walking on let's call a spade a spade at this stage you are planning a coup d'etat against the government is that right yes we are planning a coup d'etat against the government at this stage did you have a leader can you tell us how your discussion progressed and the conclusions you arrived at at that meeting we concluded that yes we will work on a coup d'etat plans for a coup and but divisions a clear division surface there and then that we had factions there and then of the host function that said that we needed a ganas style coup where all the cabinet ministers of the government would be executed by firing squad plus all the senior officers in the military who we consider to be puppets to be executed as well you said there were divisions who supported this ganas style coup in which ministers and senior officials would be executed by firing squad this was adversity do you mean leftenant Edward Sonata I mean 10 second lieutenant Anderson was he the only person who supported this position well he was the protagonist so I can't remember who else important idea but I know he was the protagonist of this idea what were the other ideas that we are proposed at the time the other camp was where I belong I built I thought it wasn't necessary to execute anybody we needed a coup and when the coup succeeds we that's all we needed anybody if anybody was one thing for doing anything the lawsuit ache its its course and that was what made sense to some of us and this is how we disagree we judge each other then you said there were two camps what divided these two camps that you mentioned like I said this was the sticking point the meaning bone of contention between the cars the idea of staging a coup wasn't the problem we were unanimous on that but how we went about with the coup was the question how do we go Bruta I was going to be a bloodless coup was the worst it was the question so we should have started dead some of us said no how would we will execute a single officer we won't execute a single Minister we will say a coup and take over government Institute a government make a transition and we now know that that word Sonata was the protagonist according to you for a ganas style coup in which ministers and senior official would be executed you belongs to the other camp which wanted a bloodless coup tell us which come left an answer beliefs honest our body belongs to I'm not – so which camp he belong to but I guess he had their leaning on Edwards thing I decide we do you know who else supported your position left hand barrow supported my position and do you recall which side left on answer belly so excuse me left hand and higher are supported no I I forgot besides they said he was wrong at that meeting there was no unanimity there was no agreement excuse me on which way you would go correct correct what happened after that yeah there was a period of silence and introspection and reflection and we thought it was we had to cool things down a little bit and compromise but I was so short a lot of things were happening in at a time then allegiances started shifting new members started coming in good on the side of a good singer tea and that's how I guess yeah I gana got briefed by Sinatra at what stage did you realize that yeah Jamie was in the picture it was very very late in the game when I realized that Jenna was in the picture because then he had meetings with singer D and perhaps sub early to somewhere and forget they had their meetings there we did not know about them but we we thought that we were waiting for a compromise on the on the issue of what how to proceed our own position my position was clear and unshakable I thought I made it very clear that I would not support a cool that would be bloody do you know whether at any stage information about this particular couplet or any other one got out in public yes there was a time I guess the the den ni a picked the signal somehow they knew that something was going on but for some reason they could not take action and why I don't know perhaps is destiny they would have discovered earlier that the coup was in the making and that's why I want 21st only 20 22nd December 1994 before before the coup there was a god upon receiving present job soldiers wear this and that was the tip they had so some of the soldiers on that with weapons where this and publicly the airport do you know how the soldiers felt about that particular event humiliated angry and determined to ensure it doesn't happen again where you at the airport on that day no I was not do you recall the date of this event which even the airport Island yes mister witness I know shortly before the shortly before the coup but I don't know exactly who this before do you recall the date of the cool the cool was on the 22nd July 1994 can you tell us where you are the day before the coup yes a week leading to the coup I received information that my brother in Germany passed away and where the family was very busy trying to fly the body back to the Gandhi and the burial took place on the 21st of July 1994 I had no reason not to be there I I had to be participate in the in the funeral our Indians and that's why I was on the 21st and then I took I took a ferry on the 22nd and cross bar to banjo where did the burial take place it took place in Java color my company and when did you return to banjo I came with I think the second or third fairy or something and cross into banjo well at the ferry did you hear anything yes before we even bought at the ferry there were rumors of troop movement and that something was happening or about to happen also of course there was supposed to be an exercise with the Americans American visiting Marines with SS SS lawmen country or something they came here to exercise with the troops German army troops and that was publicized and on this day there was a lot of movement so who knows what it was but there was rumors of activities that they all come did you eventually find out what was going on yes as soon as I I disembark from the ferry I saw sing a task are associating a car going towards the Marine marine unit signal are you referring to I'm sorry Edward singer we're accessing a telephone is Edward Edward and where did you see him go I saw him heading to the Marine headquarters yes they're close to the ferry terminal what did you do after that well naturally I I wanted to know what was going on so I followed him to the Marine unit and I met him in the marine commander's office that is NATO Antwone sorrow what happened there well he briefly immediately I arrived he told me well it's a coup and it has succeeded it is a bloodless coup I said thank God it's a bloodless coup but that's what I wanted but I've ended him at the office of in the office of major Antwone sajo he was trying to coax him to join because the Marine unit had very heavy weapons that they could have used to create chaos of perhaps could be success of the coup in Germany so he was pleading with the marine commander to support you at that other point two times at the time I spent there we were the three sitting down in that office as far as you recall how did misters how did major sajo react how did he respond to the requests made by lifting and awarding a tea he was unsure what to say what to do because nobody had it I despite nobody knew if it was the success or not he was not he was quite economical with works a bit confused I think but seeing at a kept pushing he promised him it would be a minister cabinet minister if he if he if he bought did as far as you recall this mr. Shah who give his support I know I know I didn't he didn't say yes oh no I didn't left them I said I was going anyway but see how they told me yeah yeah yeah me was there at the fact state house so I could go straight to the State House and then I left him there at around what time did you arrive at the Marine unit I know this must have been between 10 and 11 or something do you recall what time you left the Marine unit whose have been after midday how did you go how did by what means did you leave the Marine unit I took a car from the merits on one went to I headed for State at State House where what before reaching state house I passed to the police headquarters we are you alone in that vehicle no I was with a driver where did you get the driver so the Marine unit provided the driver and the vehicle for you to go to state house correct so you passed by police headquarters what happened there yeah I found pandemonium the police headquarters there was a lot of noise and banging's and south from sorry Hydra and sano-sama Lee and uncle captain drunk one captain Franco do you recall his first name captain Hong Kong captain song who we call Kalamazoo I don't know I forgot this Mamadou Sakho yeah you said there was a lot of noise there was pandemonium there was outing can you provide more detail about what you saw happening there well yeah they were trying to tell the police what to do on the police were perhaps not very interested kidding that they were afraid I understand some of the commander's jumped over the fence to go home and the rest who were there were confused I know President was there then I GP I didn't see him at that point but the rest were really confused and destroyers were there the officers were there traumatizing them you know then I came and told them it was going it could be easier taunt and shouting and and hustling about things this is this is not the way it was supposed to be at from psj parcel again did you see which other senior officers did can you recall to have been present there at the time well I don't know if I saw police are one bullies are or something but I'm not too sure I think there were a number of police officers there I don't recall them anymore in it has faded can you further describe how those officers you saw there how they were treated well they felt on the siege they felt like like captives they were confused because something must have happened very early in the morning to them that they needed to defend the bridge or something and then all of a sudden soldiers bumped into their office telling them that the situation is over they either do what they wanted them to do they either did what they wanted them to do or consequences or something I guess the police we are not to use the government around them and so that was a very difficult moment for them – did you see anybody beaten at the time No any arrests that could have been arrests when I left but at that point no there was no analysis you recall what time you left the police station I was not attentive I won't be able to tell you exactly when but when I left police station there also sir it was like I left one chaotic situation to another then I had a straight to the Statehouse where yeah I gamma was this is a convenient time for me to stop and allow the commissioners to ask questions before we go to the first break mr. chairman he Flo zo you Thank You Lee counsel thank you witness and now as the commissioners if you have any questions decide thankfully counsel no questions so take a half an hour break I'm coming back at midday thank you Thank You mr. witnesses you mean

10 thoughts on “Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission Pt1 14.01.2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *