It wasn’t an easy feeling at all, having to sit through a forum full of people who have lost husbands, sons, fathers, sons-in-law among others to narrate their struggles after the unfortunate demise of those loved ones. It is definitely worse, listening to the lone survivor of that unfortunate incident narrate the gory details of how those innocent souls were butchered to death.
It all happened in July, 2005 when some 56 West African migrants, including 44 Ghanaians were executed by a Gambian paramilitary group called the ‘junglers’ on the orders of then president, Yahya Jammeh on suspicion that these migrants who had fled their home countries enroute to Europe in search for greener pastures were mercenaries whose aim was to stage a coup against him.
These innocent West African souls with families back home; sons and daughters, mothers, fathers, and wives were massacred like animals just because someone felt his power was under threat, how inhumane can we get, how hungry for power can some people be and how blinded can they be by it?
By all legal means possible, these people deserve justice!
As a Ghanaian, listening to the known lone survivor, Mr Martin Kyere narrate his ordeal, I could only but imagine myself in such a situation, it felt like watching a Hollywood action thriller, only this time I was actually sitting in the same room with one of the actors. It was disheartening.
As narrated by Mr Kyere, the wails, the tears, the incessant plea, nothing was loud enough to soften the hearts of Jammeh’s henchmen; they were like robots, they were soldiers after all, and they proved to be good at their jobs—taking orders and carrying them out, no matter how unfathomable!
The aforementioned forum organized by the Jammeh2Justice campaign coalition, was the first of many regional fora to be organized to keep Ghanaians in the loop on what happened to the #Ghana44 and their West African counterparts in Gambia 14 years ago.
The coalition, led by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) in collaboration with its partners Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Africa Center for International Law and Accountability (ACILA), Amnesty International, Human Rights Advocacy Center (HRAC), POS Foundation, and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) has one aim— for the former Gambian president to be extradited from Equatorial Guinea to Ghana to face the full rigours of the law.
The coalition has so far fought well, kudos to them, but at this point, an all hands on deck approach is required if justice is ever going to be served these gone souls.
Two of the ‘junglers team members; Lieutenant Malick Jatta and Corporal Omar A. Jallow revealed to Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) at their ongoing sitting that the migrants were executed by them.
This confession, means there is hope for justice to be served to bring closure to the poor families of the #Ghana44 but our cry for justice must be louder and clearer for the government of the day to get involved in this fight.
We can if we fight together, it could have been you or a loved one. The wheel of justice grinds slowly, they say, but it grinds nonetheless and I say the bigger the crowd crying for justice, the faster the wheel will grind. We owe it to ourselves to fight for our fellow Ghanaians, besides nobody, Ghanaian or not, deserves to die in such a horrendous way, especially for somebody’s political gain.
Suraya Alidu Malititi