‘November 11 coup plotters wanted to execute us and our families’

Sana Sabally, former deputy chairman of the AFPRC Junta

Sana Sabally had shed more light on the event of the alleged November 11, 1995 coup during his second day of testimony to the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission.

Sabally alleged that the November 11 coup leaders had a detailed plan to execute all the AFPRC Council leaders including the Army Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Colonel Baboucarr Jatta and their families.

He said the coup plotters plan was discovered after they confiscated a notebook from Lieutenant Basirou Barrow, the alleged leader of the mutineering soldiers. He added that the ring leaders had planned to execute them at Nyambai Forest.

“These were (our) enemies and if they had succeeded we would have been dead and buried at the Brikama firing range.

“We found in his (Lt Barrow’s) pocket a book and it was written how they were going to arrest us with our families and orderlies and transport us to the Brikama Firing Range for execution.

“When I informed Chairman Jammeh about this plan then he said immediately we should execute the ring leaders.”

Sabally said the then Junta Chairman, Lt Yahya Jammeh, gave orders that the ring leaders should be executed

 “We killed them because they had the same aim and ambition to kill us,” he said.

Sabally clarified that CDS Jatta did not participate in the execution of the ring leaders. He said CDS Jatta joined them after he told him to leave his house as the alleged November 11 mutineers were on their way to his house to arrest him.

He pointed out that CDS Jatta would have been powerless to stop the execution of the alleged coup plotters.

He said all the Council leaders and their orderlies were present at Nyambai Forest when the executions were carried out and they all participated. He named Couple Kanyi as one of the executioners.

Sabally named the executed soldiers as Cadet Amadou Sillah, Lt Gibril Saye, Bakary ‘Nyancho’ Manneh, Lt Buba Jammeh, Abdoulie Bah ‘Achompin’, and Lt M.L Darboe.

The AFPRC JUnta leaders in 1994

“After the executions we put the bodies in a truck and took them back to Yundum Barracks for burial,” Sabally said.

When Counsel Faal quizzed him as to the reason why Yundum Barracks was chosen as burial site for the slain soldiers.

He responded that “for a day like today so that the remains could be exhumed and handed over to their families for proper burial.”

Faal further queried: “You were Muslim in 1995. Why did  you deny them the proper Muslim burial rite?”

Sabally responded that “under the circumstances I don’t expect we’d buried them in the normal way we buried Muslims. They were enemies There’s no little enemy. An enemy is an enemy even if they’re dead.”  

In his testimony yesterday Sabally explained how the two leaders of the alleged coup, Lieutenants Basirou Barrow and Dot Faal, were executed at a football field in Fajara Barracks.

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