Gambiana

July 1994 coup: Sabally says his task was to lockdown the airport

By Adama Makasuba

Former vice chairman of the AFPRC Junta, Sana Sabally, has said his main task on July 21, 1994 was to lockdown the Yundum International airport and arrest the then president Dawda Jawara who was returning from his summer holidays in the U.K. 

Sabally was testifying before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission on Wednesday.

The former Junta’s vice chairman was mentioned by many witnesses to have involved in the torturing and killing of soldiers said their contingency plan was to arrest both military officers and government officials.

He added that their plan also was that if the contingency plan failed “we would take civilians as human shields and asked the U.N to be involved in the negotiations. Then we will request to speak to the government directly.”

He said following his transfer to Yundum Barracks from Farafenni to execute the coup, “I was prepared to die, kill or to be killed.”

Despite him agreeing to their action as treasonous, Mr Sabally said “treason is illegal, what we did is illegal but it can be justified.”

He said after succeeding with their 1994 coup, that he met Yahya Jammeh negotiating with the then State Guard commander Lang Tombong Tamba.

“We are not here to negotiate, we have a mission to complete,” he revealed what he told Jammeh.

Sabally debunked the allegations that part of the Junta plan was to rob the Central Bank of the Gambia and kill senior military officers, but said there was a massive jubilation among the soldiers after took over the country.

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