Yahya Jammeh

The architect of July 22nd 1994 coup has told the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission that he regretted choosing former president Yahya Jammeh to lead the military junta as he admitted responsibility to human rights crimes.

Edward Singhatey, former vice chairperson of the AFPRC regime, who was continuing his testimony on Thursday said: “I feel regretful for installing Jammeh in the council and even sustaining him in the council after the takeover, not knowing that he would be re-elected.

“Anyone who suffered under Jammeh, I bear responsibility in those pain and sorrow, I am not here to run away from responsibility. No! I own up to my responsibility 100%.”

Mr Singhatey, who worked in Jammeh’s regime for over a decade, added that: “what we were ordered to go and quashed the coup and made sure no prisoner was left behind. I am equally criminally liable.”

Despite admitting to committing human rights crimes, he said the crimes were committed by all the junta members collectively.

“I was there I was in the line but I didn’t shoot … but remember these people wanted to kill us, they wanted to kill our families.

“They were kept in the cell. I believe these were Dot Faal and Basiru Barrow who were put on the truck and transported to Fajara barracks were they were executed.

“At day break Lieutenant Sana Sabally requested the prisoners be brought. They were lined up and two of them were shot death by the soldiers and the others fled.”

Edward Singhateh

However Edward Singhateh made an appeal to the victims’ families for forgiveness, saying that “if ever this (case) goes to a court and be presented, I will stand in the court and say we are responsible and we executed (them).”

Meanwhile, Mr Singhatey’s testimony is expected to continue on Monday.

The Jammeh led July 22nd 1994 Coup ousted the PPP regime of Sir Dawda Jawara. A military junta the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) governed the country for two years (1994-1996) before transitioning to a civilian government.

The AFPRC Junta has been implicated in human rights abuses including extrajudicial killings, torture and forced disappearances of political opponents.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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