from RUSSEL ADADEVOH IN Accra, Ghana
ACCRA, (CAJ News) – HUMAN rights groups in Ghana are demanding the prosecution of former Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh, for the alleged execution of over 50 West African migrants 13 years ago.
It is alleged he masterminded the execution of the nationals from Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Ghana, who were bound for Europe but were suspected of being mercenaries intent on overthrowing the dictator.
Trial International (TI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) said they had evidence implicating Jammeh, sourced from security commanders and officers participated in a subsequent cover-up.
It is alleged a paramilitary unit controlled by Jammeh executed the victims, including 44 Ghanaians, near the Gambian capital Banjul and along the Senegal-Gambia border, close to Jammeh’s Kanilai hometown.
It was believed a rebel group killed them.
“The West African migrants weren’t murdered by rogue elements but by a paramilitary death squad taking orders from President Jammeh,” said Reed Brody, counsel at HRW.
“Jammeh’s subordinates then destroyed key evidence to prevent international investigators from learning the truth.”
Benedict De Moerloose, TI head of Criminal Law and Investigations, called for justice for victims and families.
Jammeh bowed out of power after his defeat by Adama Barrow in elections held in 2016.
He refused to surrender power until pressure by regional leaders forced him into exile in Equatorial Guinea.
Barrow has suggested he would seek Jammeh’s extradition if the Gambia Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission recommended his prosecution.
The commission is to begin work in the coming months.
– CAJ News