September 21, 2021

“A Detainee Was Shot, Thrown In Well and Body Explode With Grenade,” Jammeh’s Convoy Driver Tells TRRC

Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Lamin Sillah, a former Convoy Driver of Ex-President Yahya Jammeh who was a trained Jungler, said one of the 50 West African migrants massacred in The Gambia in 2005 was shot, thrown in a well and exploded with a grenade.

WO2 Sillah who appeared before the Truth Commission on Monday, argued that he did not participate in the alleged killings but only transported the detained migrants from Baba Jobe’s compound to Kanilai, the home village of the former President Yahya Jammeh where they were taken to the bush about 2 kilometres away from President Jammeh’s resident. He explained how the detainees were shot one by one and thrown into a well.

“One of the detainees was shot, thrown in a well screaming and a grenade was thrown inside the well that exploded,” WO2 Lamin Sillah said.

“Who did that?” Lead Counsel Faal asked.

WO2 Sillah responded: “Malick Jatta.”

He added that the bodies thrown in the well sounded like stones. Later, Solo Bojang, the commander of the operation went to brief Yahya Jammeh.

“Yahya Jammeh knew about the killing and he gave the orders,” he said.

He disclosed a telephone conversation between the former President Yahya Jammeh and Solo Bojang on their way to pick the detained migrants at Baba Jobe’s compound.

“When we reached Bwiam, Solo Bojang received a call and I heard him saying “Good Evening Your Excellency” on the telephone,” WO2 Sillah said.

“Who was address in that manner?” Lead Counsel Faal asked.

The witness answered: “The former President Yahya Jammeh.”

“What were they talking?”

Sillah responded: “I did not know. It was a telephone conversation but I only heard Solo Bojang saying: “Yes Sir! Yes Sir!”

The former President’s Convoy Driver said it was four of them in the pickup truck including himself, Solo Bojang, Sana Manjang and Malick Jatta who were members of the killer squad known as “Junglers” but was quick to add that he was not a squad member. He also said he did not know the individuals in the second pickup.

“You will agree with me that you have the most notorious junglers in your vehicle,” said Lead Counsel Faal.

The witness answered: “Yes Lead Counsel.”

“Who committed the most heinous crimes in the country?”

“Yes Sir.”

“The most brutal junglers?”

“That is true.”

The witness further testified that forty detainees were transported by the pickup trucks each carrying ten people for the two trips to Kanilai.

“They were all tied together and forced in the back of the pickup car,” Sillah told the Commission.

Meanwhile, the witness also explained how one of the detainees has escaped in the bush.

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