Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Jawara Accuses Ghadafi of Masterminding Kukoi-Led 1981 Bloody Coup Assault

The regime that the Libyan leader Muar mar Ghadafi was bent to tear-down by allegedly sponsoring a bloody rebel attack is no longer in power. But the leader of the rebel group that inflicted the greatest massacre in Gambian history is reportedly renewing plans to oust the current regime that is enjoying a warming relations with his master, Ghadafi. Who is behind him now?  Kissykissymansa quizzes

Memories, it is said, are too short. But The Gambia’s former president Dawda Kairaba Jawara’s octogenarian memory isn’t short enough to forget the failed attempt on the life of his regime, three decades ago. 
The rebels had almost succeeded. Infact, they had a three-day hold on to power; seized and controlled the State House, asserted their authority and announced a suspension of the constitution and dissolution of the parliament before they were flushed-out by the Senegalese troops.  
A veterinary surgeon by profession, Jawara, now 87, had led The Gambia to independence in 1965. He became the first president when the country attained a republican status in 1970.  
Yet, self-government had its many challenges. Years of colonial neglect left The Gambia with two state-owned hospitals and high schools, poor infrastructure, small ill-equipped civil service, a mono-crop export sector and poor social services.
With limited natural resources, Dawda K Jawara and his cabinet sought to build a nation and develop an economy to sustain both farmers and urban dwellers.
To a reasonable degree of satisfaction, his regime succeeded in lifting up a nation that was deemed improbable. Sound economic policies and the envious political stability which were anchored on social justice and democracy are worthy of acknowledgement.    
Although at independence, Jawara had in very clear terms told Gambians that, “Independence doesn’t mean our groundnuts would be transformed in diamonds,” nonetheless, many Gambians, like citizens of other newly independent countries had hoped the political independence would immediately changed their economic status. 
They had their high expectations broken-down. In time, a measure of disappointment set in as the people quickly discovered that independence cannot deliver them all what they aspired to have. 
Certainly, one of the main reasons why The Gambia belatedly experienced the bitter taste of rebellion was because of the maximum freedom accorded to and tolerance exercised by the regime. 
The greatest shock to Sir Dawda came on July 30, 1981. Rebels and their civilian and military allies brutally expressed their desire for change. They demanded an end of PPP hegemony. Deteriorating economy and growing social inequalities cannot, as well, cannot be discounted. 
But the coup was aborted. Jawara survived it. 13 years later – July 1994 - his regime was murdered.   
He went into exile in UK, but was amnestied and returned home in 2002. He has now retired as an elder statesman. Except for the company of Crispy, a pet cat, Jawara has taken pleasure in writing.    
When The Gambia News & Report, a weekly magazine medaled him its prestigious annual award, ‘Person of the Year 2010,’ following the publication of his autobiography last year, he talks to the magazine (but also in attendance was my humble self) on a range of issues. 
The coup assault of July 30 1981 has sent shivers down the spines. As the local saying goes, ‘Bee le mu asaato ka deeya,’ meaning one can narrate ordeal now at ease, not when it was being heated. Many among those who witnessed it wouldn’t like to remember the events. But it could not be erased from  our history books, not even in their memories. Stories abound, both humorous and bitter ones. 
For the man at the helm of affairs then, the first shot of the events of 30 July 1981 was actually fired on 27 October 1980. A junior member of the paramilitary Field Force, Mustapha Danso shot-dead the deputy Field Force Commander, Eku Mahoney.
“The cold-blooded murder was uncommon in our criminal record books,” Jawara explains in his autobiography, Kairaba. “The shooting of a field force commander was shocking and there was an air of apprehension in the country.” 
Wary of an attack, The Gambia invoked the 1965 Defence Agreement with Senegal, who unhesitated to send troops to assist in the case of any eventuality. For in the period leading up to Eku murder, anti graffiti anti-government had been written on some walls in Banjul, preaching revolution. 
“At all events, Operation Foday Kabaa 1 went into full gear and Senegalese paratroopers, replete with helicopters air cover, arrived as an extra security measure. Eku’s funeral service at the Wesley passed off without incident,” Jawara says. 
Danso was found guilty of murder, a crime that invites death penalty. Nine months into his waiting on death row, Danso was set free from jail by the rebels and went on a rampage murdering innocent civilians. When caught, again, during the event of 1981 he faced the firing squad on 30 September. He became the first and up until today, the only executed death-row convict, albeit currently, there are over 20 awaiting execution. 
The coup assault was waged by Supreme Council for Revolution led by an ex-politician turned Marxist, Kukoi Samba Sanyang. For some people Kukoi is a revolutionary and the action was a revolution. But for Jawara, the Supreme Council for Revolution was made up of nonentities and its leader, Kukoi, was mad and neurotic. His findings show that Kukoi was a (then) opposition NCP candidate for Eastern Foni in 1977, but woefully lost to his party, PPP’s candidate.  
“He thus updated his as a failed teacher, a failed seminarian and unsuccessful politician and now a [failed] coup plotter…” Jawara says. 
Meanwhile, when the action began, the rebels had broken into the armory at the field of depot in Bakau seizing arms and went on freeing and arming prisoners at Mile 2 to strengthen their numbers.  
Ten members of Jawara’s family – eight children, including one five and one month old babies and his wife Chilel – were seized and put at gun point and forced to plead with him to give-in. 
“All Jawara’s children are here,” Jawara remembers the exact words of Kukoi, spoken some three decades ago. “His wife is here and I shall kill the whole lot …. I have no children and I am prepared to die.
This whole affair did not found Jawara here in Banjul. After attending the OAU (now AU) Assembly of heads of state in Kenya, Nairobi in June, Sir Dawda and wife Njaimeh proceeded to London for his annual leave in his home in Birchen Lane. 
“Britain was in the grip of royal wedding fever. Prince Charles was marrying Diana on Wednesday July 29. We immersed ourselves in the sight and sounds, glamour and pageantry fairytale wedding,” he says. 
His enjoyment was cut short as the next day he was playing Golf when he was interrupted with the news of a coup back home. 
“We tried unsuccessfully to get through Banjul,” he says. “Finally about midday on Friday 31 July I spoke to vice president Assan Musa Camara. “He [Assan] said he was preparing for the day’s work ahead when he heard the shrill and agitated voice of a man on the radio denouncing the Jawara regime and announcing the suspension of the constitution, the dissolution of parliament and arrest and detention of all government ministers. 
While in UK, Jawara formalized request for assistance from Senegal under the Mutual Defence Agreement. And closed to mid night of 31 July, three hundred Senegalese airborne paratroopers dropped over and headed to Yundum airport, destroying rebel positions after a stiff fighting, he added.  
Britain assisted by dispatching two Special Air Service (SAS) - a major and a Sergeant, who would later free his family from the rebels, unharmed. 
 Jawara flew from UK via Dakar to The Gambia, arriving on Sunday 2 August. He moved to State House on 3 August by which time the Senegalese had taken control. 
“What was of great relief to me what SAS successfully freed Chilel and my other children whilst Senegalese freed the rest of my children and scores of other hostages,” he confessed.  
Kukoi fled in August 2 with some of his men. Business resumed, but slowly. Even at the cabinet as some senior members were late to report on work. 
Hundreds were tried for their alleged actions. These included main opposition leader Sheriff Dibba, but he was found innocent. 
About 500 to 800 of Gambian blood were shed. Thirty Senegalese troops have been killed. Materials destroyed.  
All this, according to Jawara was the making of the Libyan leader Muar Mar Ghadafi. Sir Dawda could not figure out why, but one thing, he said, is certain was his government had severed ties with Libya after realizing that Libya was recruiting some Gambians and citizens of other countries in the sub-region for subversions. 
He reveals that before he took off for the OAU summit in Kenya, Libya had rushed in request to have a secret meeting in Nairobi, about restoring diplomatic links, but he turned it down. “Any questions they had could be asked in Banjul using normal diplomatic channels,” Sir Dawda insists. 
Jawara was not the first to accuse Ghadafi. In addition to creating a hell on earth conditions for African citizens in Libya, Ghadafi came under numerous allegations of subversion across Africa. Even the Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe admitted dreaming of Ghadafi attempting on his life.
If it is true that Kukoi’s master is Ghadafi, could it be the same Ghadafi who is still sponsoring him; for intelligence report leaked to The Daily Observer recently suggests that Kukoi is planning another assault on The Gambia? Many would say no to this question. Gambia and Libya are in good terms. Ghadafi and Jammeh have entered into brotherly relations. 
However, according to Sir Dawda, in diplomacy one shakes hand and smile with an enemy. “These are not personal enemies,” he said, “But of something else.” 

Youngest Minister Bounces Back

Fired two years ago as Information and Communications minister, Fatim Badjie has bounced back in the cabinet, but as minister of Health and Social Welfare. A communication expert, Madam Badjie was the corporate communication officer of Comium, a private cellular company before she joined The Gambia's shaky cabinet in 2008, at age 24. She was dismissed in February 2009 over what some analyst regarded as inexperience, while some unconfirmed reports suggest that she denied the privatization of state-owned telecommunications giants, Gamtel/Gamcel. But up until today, no official reason has been advanced. Meanwhile, news aired on state-owned media on Saturday confirmed Madam Badjie�s appointment as Health Minister, a position that became vacant following the demise of Dr. Baboucarr Gaye, a seasoned health expert, late last year. Ms. Badjie, bags a Bachelors degree in Communications at the Tennessee State University Nashville, USA. Her apparent lack of expertise in health has invited questions on how efficient could she deliver in one of the most crucial ministries.By all means, Fatim Badjie, is a true professional, but we must hasten to add that she has been assigned to the wrong Ministry, said an unnamed analyst. She would deliver much better at the State House Press Department, Information Ministry, and other line Ministries.

Constitutional Reforms Needed to Avoid Egypt-Type Uprising - Madi Ceesay

Madi K. Ceesay, the publisher/CEO of The Daily News, an independent Gambian newspaper has said that African heads of state should embark on constitutional reforms which must include presidential term limits in order to prevent the kind of violent and deadly civil unrest unfolding in the Arab world. 
Mr. Ceesay made these remarks on Senegambia News radio program, �Kachaa�, which sounds off opinions and views of Gambians about the current political dispensation in the country.
Peaceful, but deadly protests for democratic reforms, have for the past one month, rocked the North African nations of Tunisia and Egypt forcing the leaders of both countries to vacate their seat. 
Mr Ceesay, a renowned journalist and a CPJ 2006 International Press Freedom awardee, said it is not too late for The Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to introduce reforms and put limit on presidency.
The events in Egypt and other North African countries send strong signals to those African leaders who have been in power for more than 15 years, Mr. Ceesay said. 
A victim of arbitrary arrest and detention by the current regime, Mr Ceesay said Gambians would respect and forgive any wrongs Jammeh administration might have committed if there genuine democratic reform.

New Complex to Toughen Anti-Drug Crusade

In an effort to build-up the crusade against illegal drugs, The Gambia government has put-up a magnificent complex for National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA).
Situated in Kanifing municipality, Kairaba Avenue, a business hub, the building was constructed at a tune of D1.9m. It now serves as the head office of the national anti-drug watchdog, initially housed in the capital, Banjul.  
The inauguration ceremony was presided over by The Gambian vice president, Isatou Njie Saidy, who reiterated government's zero tolerance for drugs.
The Gambia has witnessed a growing rate of illegal drugs trade in recent times, involving and allegedly involving even some top national security personnel, parliamentarian, and other government officials.  
For instance, the former police chief and former anti drug chief have been sacked over allegations of drugs and are facing trial at High Court.
These were preceded by the impounding of cocaine worth over billions of dollars kept in a warehouse in Bonto village - dozens of kilometers from the capital, Banjul.
This incident alarmed the authorities and the delivery of nine fleet of vehicles by the president to NDEA last year seems to spur action in the anti-drug agency as one drugs suspect is nabbed in every two days.
"The importance of providing this site to serve as NDEA's head office does not lie in the already expressed beauty of the building, nor is it provided for the mere sake of it,” warned VP Njie-Saidy.
“The importance lies rather in the fact that the building is as much a confirmation as it is a warning that the government of The Gambia is ardently resolved to use every possible means to fight drugs, and to prevent drugs taking root in this country," Jammeh said.
She admitted: “In the past few years, our part of the continent has become a hub for large scale production, trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs".
“This is a worrisome development that requires the concerted collaboration of all at individual, community, national, regional and continental levels to curb the menace,” she added further, expressing hope that with a collective involvement of all Gambians, we will succeed in turning the tide in achieving a drug-free Gambia.
She added: “We should all regard the fight against illicit drugs as a genuine crusade in order to preserve human dignity and respect, as well as prevent the sanctity and quality of life from falling into sub-human standards."
NDEA Executive Director Benedict Jammeh, speaking at the ceremony, said fighting drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking cannot be successful without the active involvement and support of the communities.
He emphasized that the drugs they seize everyday are not seized from anywhere, but within the communities.
"Where do we seize them? Not from another country, not from the sky or sea. But in our streets, farmlands, gardens, car packs, markets, toilets, parlors, bedrooms, warehouses, factories, cars, buses," he noted.
According to the head of the NDEA, it is evident that the threats posed by drugs are real and persistent.
"It would, therefore, require positive collaboration and concerted efforts from every responsible person for the fight against drugs to be successful," he added.
The NDEA boss is also aware of the fact that the task ahead is huge, but noted that with the support of the public, the battle would be surely won so that the Gambia would be free from drugs menace.

Monday, February 21, 2011

British Mission Amended Visa Assessing Process Delayed

The announced amendment in the internal processes for assessing UK visa applications has suffered a temporary delay, according to a press release from the British High Commission in Banjul. 
The change, which was initially scheduled to take effect on Monday February 21, will now start on Monday February 28. 
In conjunction with the United Kingdom Border Agency, the British High Commission in Banjul recently announced that it will no longer be assessing visa applications. All UK visa applications from Banjul will be sent via a courier to the British Mission in Ghana, Accra, for consideration. 
The High Commission argued that it has no immediate plans to cease operations in The Gambia. The move is motivated by a budget deficit in UK.
But it assures that the same procedures and standards will apply. Appointments to submit applications are now available up to, and including Thursday 24th February. These appointments can be accessed via online module, the release states. All visa applications completed online by 24th February must be accompanied by an appointment to submit the application by that date. Failure to do so will result in a new online application being required.�

Unrepentant Wife Murderer Condemned to Death

www.dailynews.gmAn eighty-one year old man who would not say even a simple sorry for killing his wife over a piece of land has been sentenced to death on Monday. 
A resident of Nuimi Bakalarr, North Bank Region, Mr Sheriff Aba Hydara�s coldhearted action on November 16 2010, had sent shocking waves across the country.  
Without showing any sign of regret, he boldly told the police that he murdered his wife and attempted to kill his son for conniving to inherit his land and refusing to give him a share of the garden produce. �I shot her [the wife] with three bullets to put an end to that,� he said. 
During the course of his trial at the Special Criminal Division of the High Court in Banjul, Mr Hydara uttered the same words, to the judge. When asked whether he has any regret over killing his wife, he said no. He astounded the court by saying that if given a chance, he would repeat what he did. 
With these appalling confessions, the presiding judge, Joseph Ikpala, did not find it tough to nail him down as a murderer. 
The defense lawyer had pleaded with the judge to exercise mercy, saying loosing Mr Hydara would be too much for a family who had lost their mother. 
Pitiful though, this appeal did not convince Justice Ikpala to ease-down Mr Hydara�s punishment. 
�Even the confessional statement made by the convict, coupled with the gun and nine bullets that were recovered from him, were enough for a conviction,� Justice Ikpala said, before leaving Mr Hydara life at the mercy of the executioner. 

Dembo Sibi's Alleged Killers Face Murder Charge

The four personnel of Police Intervention Unit alleged to have tortured 30-year Dembo Sibi to death are now facing the full force of the law. 
The suspects, Babucarr Demba, Modou Colley, Babucarr Fatty and Babucarr Jobe are charged with murder. 
When arraigned on Monday at Banjul Magistrates� Court, they could not admit guilt or otherwise as the trial magistrate directed that the suspects be tried in Upper River region where the incident occurred. 
It could be recalled that the village of Numuyel, Upper River region was a scene of rage on Friday January 27, as Dembo�s dead body arrived from the hospital. He was arrested, tied with a rope against and tortured by the PIU officers believed to be the four people docked on Monday. Mr Sibi could not survive the torture. He died before reaching hospital, family sources had confirmed. 
Mr Sibi was arrested and tortured for what the villagers called wrong allegation of stealing a motor bike. Efforts made by his family to release him remained futile as the officers allegedly insisted to be paid D3, 000. Dembo was survived by four children and a wife. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Taranga FM to Be Back on Air A temporarily banned community radio station, Taranga FM will soon hit the air wave, Mr Ismaila Sisay, the manager of the radio assured.
Mr Sisay said negotiations with the state authorities to permit the radio to re-open are at an stage advanced and will be completed soon.
Despite looking upbeat about this positive development, Mr Sisay could not however ascertain whether his radio will continue reviewing local independent newspapers, a programme that endeared the radio to the public.
Taranga FM was closed-down on January 13, 2011, following an alleged order by the National Intelligence Agency.
Its closure is widely attributed to the daily review of independent local newspapers in local languages. This programme is more especially beneficial to the country’s majority poor, illiterate and hard-to-reach communities who cannot buy, read or access information except that of the state-owned TV and radio.
Taranga FM’s closure attracted growing condemnation both at local and international fronts. It was seen as another move by Gambian authorities to suppress the expression of divergent views as about four other independent media outlets have been shut-down within the last six years by the state authorities.
“Hopefully, the radio station will come back on air soon,” Mr Sisay told The Daily News during an interview at his residence in Sinchu Alagie.
 He however declined to say when, exactly. “They (the authorities) told me the time it will come back on air and when that time comes, whether it is re-opened or not I will let you know,” he said. ‘’Be rest assured that the radio station is going to re-open, but I don’t know whether I will be allowed to review private news papers anymore.”

Edwin Slams Gambian NGOs, Nigerian Judges & High Commission: But still Can’t Answer The 1 Million Dollar Question

Nearly one year after his arrest, a human rights activist still cannot answer the one million dallar question: “What is the false information in all this, which you were charged for and convicted?
“That is the one million dollar question that I have not been able to resolve till date,” Edwin Nebolisa told a Nigerian newspaper, The Vanguard.
 Mr Edwin Nwakaeme is the founding Director of Africa in Democracy and Good Governance (ADG), a pan-African human rights organisation, he is said to have registered at the Gambia’s Attorney General’s Chambers in 2006 as a charitable organisation under the Company’s Act of 1956.
On February 22, 2010, he was arrested by the police. The initial plan according to him was to deport him. Yet as fate would have it, he “managed to make a quick call to the Nigerian High Commission and the Head of Chancery caught up with him at US Embassy where he was escorted by immigration officers to collect his passport for he was to be deported. The plan, however failed because there was no genuine reason.
On March 8, he was dragged to court accused of giving false information to the office of the President of the Gambia, which was later amended to giving false information to a public officer; that ADG is a charitable organisation.
Edwin pleaded not guilty, but was convicted. Despite spending seven months in prison during the course of the trial, which is above the maximum sentence for the offence for which he was charged, he was sentenced to a six month imprisonment and D10, 000 fine on September 6, 2010. His organisation’s license was revoked by the court’s order. On September 21, 2010, he appealed against his conviction, but failed. He was deported to Nigeria after serving his prison term. Upon re-uniting with his family, Edwin narrated his bitter Gambian experience, but also slammed at Gambian NGOs, Nigerian Judges and Nigerian High Commission in The Gambia.
 What false information
“Right from February 22, when I was arrested, I never knew the charge against me up till March 8, when I appeared before a Magistrates’ Court in The Gambia.  Throughout the proceeding, not even a single person appeared in court that I gave him or her false information. And no document was tendered with regards to the said false information in court.
“The two state witnesses, who appeared in court, were the Programme Officer at the NGO Affairs and the Police officer, who took my statement. So to whom was this false information given.
“The 2009 World Day Celebration, for the Prevention of Violence Against Children and Child Abuse, which is an annual event of the Women’s World Summit Foundation, WWSF, Geneva, and in partnership with Africa in Democracy and Good Governance, which  celebration was a huge success, was issued a march past permit by the Inspector General of Police of the Gambia.
The march was led by the Army Band, covered by the media in the Gambia, including state owned Gambia Radio and Television Service, which was aired. Among those who received the WWSF/ADG Goodwill Ambassador Honour was ASP Yamundow Jagne-Joof, who is the officer in charge of the Child Protection Unit at the Police headquarters. So if the programme took place, what was the false information and who was it given to?
For the avoidance of doubt, one can log on to the website of the WWSF 2009 members and partners.
So there is just nothing in the charge, except that they just wanted to get me out of the system for doing a good job and maybe, being critical of government, which is what any normal civil society group is supposed to do. They even ransacked my office and took away the hard drives in my computers.”
  ‘Envious Gambian civil society’
According to the Nigerian, The Gambian civil society groups were never happy with my organisation, because of our numerous activities.
“This was because most of the organisations that are operating in the Gambia are [either] pro-government or do not want to be seen fighting the government for fear of being clamped down,” he said.
He added that Gambian NGOs are envious of the strides ADG registered. “Within the last few years, ADG was able to record huge progress in its activities, both within and outside The Gambia, which also includes the observer status, granted it by the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, ACHPR.”
“adjudicators are prosecutors
“I appeared before Justice Emmanuel Amadi who sat over my appeal against the lower court’s decision,” Edwin said. “Surprisingly, the judge is a Nigerian. It is also embarrassing that the Magistrate is a Nigeria and yet they convicted me and upheld my conviction, when they knew there was no case against me.
According to him, the unfortunate thing about The Gambian judicial system is that the moment you are accused, the magistrates and judges themselves are more or less the prosecutors.
“It appears that they find you guilty first and want you to prove your innocence, which is the other way round in every other system, except in The Gambia, that you are presumed innocent until the otherwise is proved. The court which should ordinarily be the last hope of the common man, is actually the one prosecuting people,” Edwin said. “I don’t think there is any [...] Nigerian judge in The Gambia.”
“Did the Nigerian High Commissioner in Gambia do enough to assist you?” the journalist asked Edwin. “Not at all. I was most embarrassed by her actions or lack of it. You cannot believe that it was the British High Commissioner and Americans that were following my case and doing all they could to help, while my High Commissioner, who is being sustained by the Nigerian tax payers money did absolutely nothing for me,” he replied.
“It is rather very unfortunate that our foreign missions do not care about us or represent ordinary Nigerians in foreign countries well. If you have any problem in Gambia, as a Nigerian, you are solely on your own. If you expect the Nigerian High Commissioner to do anything, you will certainly die before anything is done, if at all any would be done,” Edwin said.

Man Unable to Survive Torture by Police

Dembo, 30 was tortured to death
www.dailynews.gmA chaotic scene erupted in Numuyel village on Friday afternoon as 30-year-old Dembo Sibi’s dead-body arrived from the hospital. He died following a severe torture unleashed on him by the personnel of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) camped in village.
An angry village mob surged toward the PIU camp with weapons for revenge, but thanks to the intervention of the Governor, a bloodier scene was avoided, albeit the villagers burnt-down the thatched-made PIU camp, The Daily News gathered.
Late Dembo’s ailing 60-year-old father, Sarjo Saibo Sibi, unsuccessfully fought back his tears as The Daily News approached him in his room on Sunday to discuss his son’s untimely death.
“When information reached me that my son was arrested by the police, I sent his brother Sulayman to go and negotiate his release,” the sixty-year-old man broke into tears.
“I gave Sulayman D500, but the officers said that amount was small. They demanded D3,000.”
Sarjo said he was not having that sum, but still managed to give D1500 to Sulayman, but the officers insisted to be paid D3, 000.
“When Sulayman returned with the sum, I told him let us leave everything in the hands of God,” the old man added.
According to Sulayman Sibi, he found his brother tied-tight with a rope against a tree while the officers were beating him.
“I told the officers to release him, but they refused unless I bring D3, 000.
“My brother (Dembo) called me as I went there to give him lunch. He said he could not eat; that he would die. Then the officers started beating him and forcing him to eat,” an equally sad brother has said.
The PIU officers arrested late Dembo at around 1:00 am on Friday for allegedly stealing a friend’s motor bike, villagers sources said.
However, the owner of the motor bike said at the time of the arrest, he told the officers that he allowed late Dembo to use his motor bike but one of the officers ordered him to shut up his mouth.
“That was how the officers took him away,” he explained. “When I went to the camp in the morning, I found Dembo was tied against a tree with wet clothes. I appeal them to release him, but they refused.
Muhammed Camara, who is overseeing the district in the absence of his brother, the chief, said it was around 9 a.m on Friday, when Dembo’s father called him requesting him to negotiate with the officers, but he told the old-man that he was busy at the time.
“I arrived at the camp by 4 pm. I found late Dembo flatly lying on the ground. I then called his brother who alongside the PIUs took him to the hospital.”
The Daily News could not contact the hospital for confirmation. But village sources said the hospital confirmed that Dembo passed-away before arriving at the hospital.
At the time of going to press, police spokesperson could not be reached on his phone for comment. But O.C Badjie of  Basse Police Station said the case is being investigated. He said the corpse and the PIU officers involved have been taken to Banjul.
Family sources confirmed that the corpse is kept at the mortuary in Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital in Banjul.
But it is unclear whether the PIU officers have been arrested or charged.
Late Dembo was survive with one wife and four children.