By Aramata Jatta
The Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) led by police forensic unit after close to two weeks of digging in search of the remains of the victims of the November 11, 1994 incident has finally uncovered a mass grave of seven bodies at Yundum Army Barracks.
Supt. Thomas RJ Gomez Forensic Archaeologist revealed that bones, a finger ring, seven skulls, seven underwear and seven wire-codes used for tying victims hands where found during the exhumation.
He alluded that The fact that they have uncovered seven skulls, seven underwear and seven wire-codes has affirmed that seven individuals were buried in Yundum Barracks.
‘’ to ascertain who is who is yet to be confirmed because that is only going to be establish in another phase of the investigation’’.
Gomez asserted that the discovery of the seven alleged plotters is not the end game of the exhumation, revealing that about two dozen soldiers are said to be buried at Yundum Barracks
Reaffirming that the excavation will continue in the coming days in other to recover the bodies of more victims.
It could be recalled that on November 11 1994 some officers of the Gambia National Army were alleged of plotting a coup against the Arm Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) which lead to the brutal killing of the said officers.
It is yet to be confirmed as to whose bodies are recovered but the remains such as skulls, and other body parts with some military fatigues are said to be recovered from the mass graves. A victim and former Army officer, Sait Darboe identifies the location.
These exhumed remains are expected to be the remains of Lt. Basirou Barrow, Lt. Dot Faal, Lt. Lamin Darboe, Lt. Abdoulie Bah, Lt. Ebou EM Ceesay, Lt. Gibril Saye, Cadet Amadou Mbakeh Sillah, Sgt. Fafa Nyang and Sgt Basirou Camara.
According to TRRC witnesses on November 11 1994 multiple-number of soldiers in the Gambia National Army were murdered at different locations such Fajara Barracks, Yundum Barrack and Lance Corporal Lamin Bojang memorial range at Brikama.
The wives of the alleged ring leader of the failed coup Lt. Basirou Barrow, Lt. Gibril Saye and Lt. Abdoulie Dot Faal, sometime last month appeared before the Commission after hours of testifying they pleaded to the commission in tears, for Gambia government to hand over the remains of their loved ones in other for them to be given a befitting burial. The exhumation was witnessed by family members and friends.
Speaking on behalf of victims Fatou Manneh a sister to (Nyancho) Bakary Manneh, lamented that they have suffered enough for the past twenty five years and had no one to wipe their tears.
She noted that they are grateful to the TRRC for making this possible. ‘’We want to thank Allah for this day because we never thought this day will come our way.
Narrating the ordeals and hardship her family went through, Fatou revealed that their father died of stress and her mum is now in a wheelchair as a result of Bakary Manneh’s death.