Kanilai – TRRC Search Remains in Crocodiles Ponds and Possible Mass Graves
The Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission (TRRC), on the 21st May 2021, visited numerous places in Foni, including the birthplace of former president Yahya Jammeh, Kanilai Village, Foni Kansala District.
The Investigation Unit of the commission searched for possible Mass Graves of extra-judicially killed people and buried by the Junglers within the Foni.
The Commission led by Chairman Dr. Lamin J. Sise, the legal team, Research and Investigations Unit (RIU), Communications Team, and other support staff visited the Santan-Ba Forest, where business mogul, late Abdoulie Gaye, and Tumani Jallow, a former soldier of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) are presumably buried in a mass grave.
Earlier the commission had visited a swampy area surrounded by mangroves led by Jungler Omar Jallow alias Oya to ascertained or established the whereabouts of one of the Migrants that escaped but was later apprehended and summarily executed by Sanna Manjang and Oya respectively and was subsequently buried by the villagers.
The next place the Commission visited was the Tintiba Firing Range in Bunubor where Jaja Nyass, Lamin Sanneh, former State Guard Commander, and Njaga Jangne (30th December 2014 attackers) were buried but subsequently got exhumed by Police under the Barrow government.
The Commission headed to Kafenda, deep into the bushes therein. The commissioners visited a big perimeter fence believed to be 3 Kilometers long that had a well where the executed 9 Mile2 inmates, Daba Marena, and co are buried.
Malick Jatta, another Jungler testified and confessed to the commission in 2019 that he participated in the killings but could not identify or trace the said well, purported to be in the Cassamarce territory.
According to the Supervisor of the Crocodiles Ponds in Kanilai and Wildlife representative Malang Saidy, there are 250 Pieces of crocodiles in Pond 1, essentially alligators.
He said the pond is 3 meters deep, with its crocodiles fed with fish because they were told during training that constantly feeding them with meat would make them aggressive and easily attack people.
Responding to Lead Counsel Essa Faal, the commissioners, and chairman Ceesay, the pond supervisor Malang Saidy confirmed that there were crocodiles brought from South Africa and Guinea Bissau, which are contained in Pond 1.
However, he said he had never seen someone feeding them human remains. Yet, he added that the crocodiles couldn’t be fed without the knowledge of his team.
Mr. Omar Jallow also testified in 2019 and confessed to the commission that Mamud Ceesay and Ebou Jobe were also killed and buried within Kanilai.
Even though Jammeh’s henchman, Oya, confirmed to the commission that he participated in the burial of the two Gambians Americans, excavations from TRRC Investigators and Forensics proved futile as neither the two Gambians Americans nor Ma Hawa Cham or Saul Ndow’s remains could be found as of now.
Before that, Wildlife representative in Kanilai explained to the Commission that the second Pond of crocodiles (Pond 2) approximately contained about 50 crocodiles which also survive on fish.
Earlier, the commission visited the NIA Detention Center in Tanji, also known as NIA Coastal Command, where the late Ebrima Solo Sandeng of blessed memory was buried. Still, the remains of his body were exhumed by forensics experts in 2017. Other places visited include the former president’s palace in his native village.
It has been observed as per the evidence before the TRRC, that Yahya Jammeh could trample on anyone who attempted to seized him from his position as President or challenged his authority either by summarily executing that person or persons through his henchmen or unlawfully detained them incommunicado with the subject of massive tortures and abused by using the NIA, Prison Wardens and Junglers respectively, to name a few.
He continued to live lavishly by erecting four different standard dormitories to sleep on at will and installed air-conditioning for his luxury Vehicles, as evidenced by his car parked in Kanilai showcases while on a tour of his premises. Jammeh’s rule left most citizens to wallow in abject poverty. Some find it difficult to cater for three meals in a day.