Experts have begun exhuming the remains of soldiers allegedly executed and buried in secret graves at the Yundum Barracks in the aftermath of the alleged 11 November 1994 coup plot.
The exhumation was authorized by the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC). The process followed testimonies from TRRC witnesses and appeals by the victim’s families. The exhumation began Friday at around 11:47am at the barracks.
Close to a dozen soldiers are said to have been executed at various locations, including Fajara Barracks, Yundum Barracks and Lance Corporal Lamin Bojang Memorial Range in Brikama over the alleged coup plot.
Multiple TRRC witnesses implicated then AFPRC military junta leaders and other soldiers in the ‘massacre’.
Last month, the families of some of the fallen soldiers, including the alleged coup leader Lt. Basiru Barrow appeared before the TRRC and appealed for the remains of their loved ones to be exhumed and returned to them for proper burial.
Among the soldiers believed to be buried at the Yumdum Barrack are Lt. Barrow, Lt. Dot Faal, Lt. Lamin Darboe, Lt. Abdoulie Bah, Lt. Ebou E.M. Ceesay, Lt. Gibril Saye, Cadet Amadou Mbakeh Sillah, Sgt. Fafa Nyang and Sgt. Basiru Camara.
Superintendent Thomas RJ Gomez, a forensic archaeologist and lead investigator at the TRRC told The Chronicle that the exercise may go beyond a day’s work and may last for days “as the actual places of the graves are not exactly identified due to conflicting evidences.”
He said experts have identified two areas as adduced by witnesses who appeared before the commission.
The exercise has been witnessed by officials of the TRRC, the victims’ family and the media.