Gambiana

Former Army Chief accepts leading an attack on Fajara Barracks to foil November 11 counter-coup

Former Army Chief of Defence Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces,
Rtd Col Baboucarr Jatta

By Adama Makasuba

Former Army Chief of Defence Staff , Rtd Col Baboucarr Jatta, has told the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission that he led the Junta soldiers during their attack on Fajara Barracks to foil the alleged November 11, 1994 countercoup.

Jatta, who manned the commander post of the Gambia army for ten years, also denied taking part in the killings of the alleged November 11 coup plotters.

On November 11, 1994, 10 Gambian soldiers were allegedly killed and buried at a mass grave in Yundum Barracks by the AFPRC Junta.

The former army chief said he had witnessed the horrendous incidents but didn’t participating in any of the killings. 

Witnesses, who testified before the Commission, implicated Baboucarr Jatta to have participated in the shootings of the soldiers

In responding to the allegations, Jatta described the allegations as ‘lies’, adding he was present to stop the council members from killing the soldiers but was never listened to.

“Some of these people were traumatized then; I was little bit okay than them. We the senior officers should take responsibility that we instructed…In that formation, I swear I was not on the line. I was in mufti (civilian dress),” he said.

Jatta said despite being the army commander then, his advice was not heeded by the members of the Junta, adding that he did caution the then vice chairman of the Junta, Sana Sabally, not to kill any soldier.

He also claimed to be moving with the Junta members on November 11, 1994 to save soldiers from brutality which he said was not successful.

Rtd Colonel Baboucarr is expected to reappear before the Commission in the near future.

Meanwhile, the remains of seven soldiers were exhumed by the Investigation Team of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission on Wednesday, almost two weeks of excavation by the team.

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