By Mustapha Jallow
Gambian authorities have released four military personnel who were referred to as ‘Junglers’, on the 10th of August 2019, following their long-term detention in military camps.
In a telephone conversation, Army Spokesperson Major Lamin K. Sanyang confirmed the release of Lieutenant Malick Jatta, Staff Sergeant Omar Jallow aka ‘Oya’, Staff Sergeant Amadou Badjie and Warrant Officer Class 1 (WOC1) Pa Ousman Sanneh.
He said the four were freed on Saturday morning by the Military Police at the Fajara Barracks; that the four are still serving members of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) but have been sent on Administrative leave as part of the recommendation from the Justice Ministry.
If readers can recall, the four serving personnel appeared before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) in July 2019 , and confessed to taking part in the summary executions of dozens of Gambians and non-Gambians during the regime of ex- President Yaya Jammeh, including the assassination of former veteran journalist Deyda Hydara.
Prior to their testimony before the TRRC, these military men were detained at various military camps.
WOC1 Pa Ousman Sanneh who is a native of Kartong, was arrested by the Military Police on 18th March 2017. He was later escorted to the Yundum Barracks where he spent weeks before being moved to Fajara Barracks where he was detained until his release.
Likewise, Lieutenant Malick Jatta, a Commissioned Officer of GAF and resident of Tujereng, was arrested by the Military Police on 8th February 2017. Jatta spent four months in military detention at the Yundum Barracks, before being transferred to the Fajara Barracks in July 2017 until his release on Saturday 10th of August.
Staff Sergeant Amadou Badjie and Staff Sergeant Omar Jallow aka ‘Oya’, were also picked up by the Military Police on 27th February 2017. The two were detained at the Yundum Barracks where they spent months before being transferred to the Fajara Barracks in July 2017 until their release on Saturday 10th of August 2019.
In March 2017, while on a mission with the security to search for the secret graves of persons killed in Foni, Omar Jallow and Amadou Badjie confessed to Police investigators of their involvement in the alleged execution and burial of Lance Corporal Tumani Jallow and a businessman Abdoulie Gaye alias ‘Abdou’.
The arrests of these soldiers came immediately after the defeat of former president Jammeh. The then Army Chief Ousman Badgie is said to have ordered for their arrest.
There are other two soldiers who have been detained with these four who testified before the TRRC but are not yet released. Warrant Officer Class 1 Alieu Jeng and Ismaila Jammeh, a brother to ex-president Yahya Jammeh, both confessed participating in killing dozens of Gambians and non-Gambians.