Rights Teams Search Prosecution of Gambian Ex-leader in Ghana

A survivor, households of the disappeared and human rights organizations are searching for the extradition and prosecution in Ghana of Gambia’s former chief Yahya Jammeh for alleged direct involvement within the killing of greater than 50 West African migrants in 2005.

Human Rights Watch and TRIAL Worldwide on Wednesday known as on Ghana’s authorities to analyze new proof they are saying ties Jammeh to the killings of Ghanaians and others.

The teams carried out interviews with 30 former Gambian officers, together with 11 officers linked to the deaths. Witnesses recognized the Junglers, a infamous unit that took orders instantly from Jammeh, as those that carried out the killings because the migrants tried to make their means towards Europe.

A number of officers instructed the rights teams that the migrants might have been mistaken for mercenaries, who reportedly had been planning a coup.

“The West African migrants weren’t murdered by rogue parts however by a paramilitary demise squad taking orders from President Jammeh,” mentioned Reed Brody, counsel at Human Rights Watch. “Jammeh’s subordinates then destroyed key proof to forestall worldwide investigators from studying the reality.”

Some 44 Ghanaians and several other Nigerians, together with two girls, left from neighboring Senegal in a motorized canoe in hopes of catching a ship that ultimately would take them to Europe, the rights teams mentioned. They could not make contact with the boat and landed in Barra, Gambia on July 22, which was the nation’s Revolution Day marking Jammeh’s 1994 coup.

“They lined us up, pointing weapons at us, and marched us to the Barra police,” mentioned the only real recognized survivor of the killings, Martin Kyere, mentioned within the report.

The rights teams confirmed that the migrants had been detained within the presence of the inspector common of police, Nationwide Intelligence Company director and chief of the protection workers, amongst others, and not less than two of these current had been in phone contact with Jammeh.

The group of migrants was divided and handed over to the Junglers.

“We had been at the back of a pickup truck,” Kyere mentioned. “Because the truck went deeper into the forest I used to be in a position to get my palms free. I jumped out from the pickup and began to run into the forest.”

The opposite migrants had been executed close to the capital, Banjul, and alongside the Senegal-Gambia border close to Jammeh’s hometown of Kanilai, the rights teams mentioned.

Ghanaian authorities labored with Kyere to establish most of the useless, in an investigation that in the end led to reparations by Gambia for victims’ households and the return to Ghana of six our bodies.

No arrests have been made within the killings, the rights teams mentioned. As a substitute, “rogue parts” in Gambia’s safety providers had been blamed and Gambia’s authorities was not “instantly or not directly complicit,” in keeping with a report by the United Nations and the ECOWAS regional bloc, the teams mentioned.

The rights teams now argue that the brand new proof exhibits clearly that the Junglers had been accountable.

Human Rights Watch and TRIAL Worldwide are a part of a global marketing campaign launched in Gambia to prosecute Jammeh for the abuses alleged below his 22-year rule.

Jammeh fled into exile in Equatorial Guinea in January 2017 after shedding elections. It isn’t clear if Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang would conform to an extradition course of.

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