BANJUL (Reuters) – Yahya Jammeh was going to be “trouble” for Gambia from the moment he seized power, the first witness to a commission convened to investigate rights abuses under his presidency said on Monday.
The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), which opened after repeated delays caused by a lack of funding, is part of a reckoning with a 22-year-long rule marked by extrajudicial killings, torture and forced disappearances.
Coup - Police - Ebrima - Ismaila - Chongan
Testifying about the 1994 coup, police official Ebrima Ismaila Chongan recalled Jammeh, who later declared Gambia an Islamic republic, as a heavy drinker who was often up to no good.
“He used to come to me to beg for money and other things,” said Chongan, who trained Jammeh as a police cadet and later spent two years in the capital Banjul’s notorious Mile 2 Prison for opposing the coup. “When I knew that he was the leader, I knew that Gambia was going to be in trouble.”
TRRC - Initiative - President - Adama - Barrow
The TRRC, an initiative of current President Adama Barrow expected to sit for two years, plans to investigate the coup’s origins and abuses throughout Jammeh’s tenure, which ended in 2017 when he fled to Equatorial Guinea after losing an election.
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