By Neneh Galley Barry
Dr Binneh Minteh, a former Lieutenant in the Gambian gendarmerie at the time of the coup, said an ex-military Gibril Saye was cut into two after he was killed by former junta member Edward Singhateh.
Lieutenant Gibril Saye was not even involved. He did not even know about the coup. I was told that Edward Singhateh did not just kill Saye, they cut him into two because he was too tall” Minteh testify.
On November 11, 1994, close to two dozen Gambian soldiers were killed at Fajara Barracks, Yundum Barracks and Brikama Firing Range.
Minteh, now resident in United States, for the first time confirmed that there was a coup planned on November 11.
“I was approached by Lieutenant Abdoulie Faal also known as Dot Faal sometime around September… I told him I was thinking along those lines,” said Minteh.
He said Dot told him that the junta has betrayed the agenda of the coup and refused to return to the barracks as agreed.
The witness said Faal and others were also disgusted by the human rights violations, abuse of state resources and excesses of the junta.
Minteh said the coup which was led by Basiru Barrow was organized by about 80% of the military, mainly from Fajara Barracks and Yundum.
Aware of the coup, the junta countered earlier before Barrow and his colleagues acted. Dot and Faal and Lieutenant Minteh were at the Fajara waiting for orders from Barrow who was supposed to start movements from Yundum.
Their targets were to arrest the junta members and take control of the State House and tie Yahya Jammeh.
For some time, there was no communication from Barrow and at 11 pm Dot decided to go and check on him at Yundum. Not known to them at the time that Barrow had already been shot at the stomach by Edward Singhateh, stabbed with a bayonet and killed.
While Minteh waited, unknown to Faal that he was walking into a slaughterhouse.
“I was told Barrow was shot by Edward Singhateh in the stomach and he was bayonetted. When he was shot he was not armed. And Dot Faal met a similar fate… I was told they met with barbarity. Dot was shot several times and also bayonetted,” said Minteh.
Minteh said while he waited to hear from his colleagues with growing suspicions that something was wrong, the Fajara Barracks was attacked by the Junta.
“Fajara was like a war zone. I could hear Sanna Sabally shouting: “kill them all”,” said Minteh. He said the junta killed every soldier that they have come across at the Fajara Barracks.
He said at that point, he smuggled his way out and went into Bakau.
By Neneh Galley Barry