Saihou Jallow, a former aide to ex- president Yahya Jammeh, has told the TRRC that the attackers of the Farafenni Army Barracks in 1996 were “criminals”. 

Mr Jallow, who was a former captain in the army and lost a brother in the attack, was giving testimony to the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission. 

He told the TRRC: “It’s rather unfortunate criminals like Mballo Kanteh who killed young innocent Gambian soldiers who were defending the country are branded heroes and the death of my brothers in uniform is ridicule in a public hearing.

“To add salt to the injury, instead of asking about their families, Mballo Kanteh was asked about his son. I find this totally disrespectful to the Gambia Armed Forces.

He extended condolences to the families of the soldiers who were killed in the Farafenni attack and sought forgiveness from the Gambian people “for any crime I have committed knowingly and unknowingly.”

A group of armed rebels, man of whom were Gambian dissidents seeking to overthrow the Jammeh dictatorship, launched a deadly attack on the Farafenni Army Barracks in 1996. Five Gambian soldiers were killed in the attack. 

The slain soldiers were Corporal Essa Keita, Private Ebrima Manneh, Staff Sergeant Lamin Badjie, Private Ebrima Bayo and Private Bakary Keita.

Meanwhile, Mr Jallow advised Gambians to vote “wisely” in the upcoming December election and ensure they vote for “someone that will take us to the Promised Land.”

He also urged Gambians not to allow politicians to divide them as people, saying “never forget Gambia is the only country we call home and do not allow politics and politicians to divide us.”

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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