Edward Singhateh Denies Killing

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By Nene Galleh Barry

Edward Singhatey has told the Truth Commission on Thursday that he was a witness to the execution of Basiru Barrow and Abdoulie Dot Faal at the Fajara Barracks. He however denied shooting at them.

Former number two in the Junta said former President Yahya Jammeh ordered former Vice Chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council, Sanna Sabally, to kill soldiers who have reportedly planned to overthrow them on November 11, 1994.

Jammeh and his colleagues have overthrown the regime of former President Dawda Kairaba Jawara on July 22, 1994. They formed a military council and Edward, one of the two primary planners of the coup, was appointed as a defence minister.

He would later be appointed the Vice Chairman of the Council after Sanna Sabally was fired and arrested. At least 11 soldiers were killed on November 11 including Basiru Barrow, Gibril Saye and Abdoulie Dot Faal.

Despite admitting participation in the execution, Edward said he did not fire a shot. November 11 incident was one of the first alleged rights violations investigated by the Commission. Several witnesses said the soldiers were captured without any gun fight and executed.

“As a sharp shooter Sir, I still hold record of sharp shooting in the GNA (Gambia National Army). If I wanted to kill, none of the people would have escaped. I could get them in 300 meters much more about 15 meters. They were running in a straight line,” said Edward.

Edward has been mentioned before the Truth Commission for over a dozen times in connection to two major killings and tortures. He allegedly participated in the killing of November 11, 1994 captured soldiers which he admitted and the killing of former finance minister Ousman Koro Ceesay.

But Edward denied directly torturing anyone even though he admitted collected responsibility for the tortures. Several witnesses said he tortured several former People’s Progressive Party ministers and former soldiers arrested in the immediate aftermath of the coup. He denied torturing anyone. He however admitted the torture had happened and he was a witness to it.