Outrage as The Gambia frees ex-regime's hitmen

Relatives of people murdered under the regime of The Gambia’s former ruler Yahya Jammeh say they are outraged by the release of three self-confessed assassins.

Malick Jatta, Omar Jallow and Amadou Badjie were members of a paramilitary unit known as the “Junglers”.

They were released from army custody two weeks after appearing before the country’s truth commission.

“Our team was a hit squad for Yahya Jammeh,” Mr Badjie told the commission.

“We had blind loyalty for Yahya Jammeh,” he added

The three assassins had been arrested by military police in 2017, when President Adama Barrow took office after winning elections in December 2016 to end Mr Jammeh’s 22-year rule.

Mr Jammeh initially refused to give up power, but went into exile after regional states sent troops to force him to step down.

Mr Barrow set up the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) to investigate human rights violations allegedly committed during Mr Jammeh’s rule, including extrajudicial killings, torture and arbitrary detention.

Mr Jammeh has refused to cooperate with the commission.

‘Savage killing’

During the hearings, the assassins accused Mr Jammeh of ordering numerous murders that they then carried out, including the notorious 2013 killings of two US-Gambian businessmen and veteran local journalist Deyda Hydara.

“I feel so disrespected as a mother that my government is setting free the men who confessed to the savage killing of my son,” Ya Mamie…

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