Hundreds March to Demand Justice for Victims of April 10/11 Shootings
Hundreds of people Wednesday marched to push for justice for the victims of April 10/11 ‘massacre’.
On the two fateful days in 2000, armed soldier officers opened fire at student protesters in different parts of the country, killing at least fourteen and injuring many others. The students under the leadership of the Gambia Student’s Union (GAMSU), were protesting for justice for a student allegedly tortured to death by Fire and Ambulance Service officers and another student allegedly raped by the police.
Survivors who took part in Wednesday’s march to mark the 19th anniversary of the incident recalled the events of April 10/11 disturbances.
“I’m here to show solidarity to my fallen colleagues who were shot in my presence in Brikamaba Village in Central River Region by soldiers from Kudang Army Barracks. I remember that in the afternoon of April 10th, we got news that some of our colleagues were shot dead in the Kombos for merely demanding justice,” said Mbemba Bah, a student from Brikamaba.
As Bah and his friends took to the streets of Brikamaba on April 11, 2000, soldiers started shooting at them.
“As early as 10am, soldiers started shooting. The first victim was Sainey Nyabally who was killed at around 11am. Then we lost Ousman Sabally. They were both shot by the same soldiers from Kudang Barracks.”
Bah was arrested, manhandled and detained for a week at Janjangbureh Prison along with dozens of other students and village elders over the protest. He’s upset that 19 years later, no one has been prosecuted.
Sainey Senghore, a native of Essau in the North Bank Region was shot on April 10 by armed security forces, leaving him disabled. As he marked the 19th anniversary of the shooting, he called on the government to look into the plights of the victims and cater for their health needs.
“We want to remind the government that a promise is a promise. We were promised by President Barrow right after his inauguration in Dakar that once he took over he’d make our issue his number one priority. I want to take this opportunity to remind him of this promise. We are still sick and we need help,” Senghore told The Chronicle.
As part of the commemoration, marchers wore white t-shirts and held banners and placards with messages such as ‘Never Again’ and ‘Repeal the Indemnity Act”, to push for justice. They marched from the gate of the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) to the Westfield roundabout, the two epicenters of the killings of students on April 10/11, 2000.