An officer of The Gambia Armed Forces has denied seeing April 10/11 students protesters being beaten or shot at by security forces.

Major Wassa Camara Camara was a Lieutenant and commanding officer of Kudang Military Post during the April 10/11 2000 students’ demonstrations.

In his testimony before the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission on Wednesday, the army officer denied the allegations of brutality by the security personnel under his command, saying “my men didn’t arrest or beat any student, may be other security officials.”

He said after receiving the information on April 10 that students had started a demonstration, he said he advised his security personnel not to beat or shot at any student.

The Army Officer told the Truth Commission: “I gave an order that nobody should be beaten, nobody should be slapped and nobody should be shot at.”

However witnesses, who had testified on the April 10/11 students demonstrations, have said that security personnel had arrested, beaten and shot at them with live ammunition.

But Major Camara described those testimonies as “false” adding that “if it had happened I might be disappointed.”

Army Major Camara is the first security officer to testify on the 2000 April 10/11 students demonstrations.

The students were demanding justice for their colleague – Ebrima Barry who died as a result of beating inflicted on him by officers of The Gambia Fire Service in Brikama.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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