By Yankuba Jallow
Alagie Masanneh Camara alias APRC on Wednesday, 27th November 2019 told the TRRC that former President Yahya Jammeh wanted the witch hunters to abduct his sisters, but his sisters fled to Casamance.
“I am a very good friend of Yahya Jammeh and anytime I speak or meet him, he (Yahya) does not call me by my name – he used to call me APRC,” he said.
He said Yahya Jammeh told him to take Solo Bojang’s number to call him whenever his sisters who fled to Cassamance return to Sintet. The witness said the witch-hunters did not find Yahya Jammeh’s sisters in Sintet because they escaped to Senegal when they got the news of the coming of the witch-hunters.
“Yahya Jammeh was not happy because he wanted to abduct his own sisters. They ran to Cassamance. Yahya Jammeh personally told me that he wants them abducted. He (Jammeh) told me that if I call Solo Bojang, he will send soldiers to come and get them,” the witness said.
The witness said when he came outside the residence of the former head of state in Kanilai, he tore the paper bearing the number of Solo Bojang.
He said he was a passionate APRC supporter because during the days he supported the party, he used to go around the village shouting “Yahya Jammeh” “Yahya Jammeh”.
“People take me to be a lunatic. They don’t know how dear Yahya Jammeh and APRC were to me,” he said.
He added that he left the party when Yahya Jammeh threatened to kill all Mandinkas because it is the ethnic group he belongs.
About the 2009 Witch-Hunt
He testified the witch-hunters invaded Sintet and began capturing people from their homes. He added the witch-hunters were dressed in red clothes and they were pointing their mirrors on people. He said after capturing the residents of Sintet, they made them sit at the village square where they were drumming and dancing before finally transporting them to Kanilai.
He said he was the one who rescued the wife of the Imam from the witch-hunters.
“I met them on the way and I told them that she was suffering from high blood. They released her,” the witness said.
He said the people were captured against their will.
“The soldiers and the Fulas (marabouts) were capturing the people. The job of the soldiers on that day was to cause trouble for people. They were beating people with the use of a black rubber,” he said.
“My in-law, Dajan Touray was beaten severely for refusing to go with them,” he said.
He said a red male goat was brought to the village square which was slaughtered by the witch-hunters underneath a big tree before they left for Kanilai.
He said on the following day, he went to Kanilai to visit the abductees as he promised Major Solo Bojang on the day the people were captured from their families.
He said a soldier found him crying and gave him a seat outside to wait.
“I was crying because of the condition I met my people. No human should treat his fellow in that manner. They were cognizant of what was ongoing,” he said.
He said when Solo Bojang came, the young soldier mentioned his presence to him and he (Bojang) ordered for him to be brought in.
He said Solo Bojang called former President Jammeh for him and they were communicating. He said while speaking to ex-President Jammeh, he informed him that Mustapha Fanneh was not a witch but he was more dangerous than a witch because he has the means to kill a human being. He said the former head of state accepted his plea and he was able to go home with a full “Gele-gele”together with the three people he came with.
He said several people died as a result of the concoction. He said countless number of them are alive, but cannot do anything on their own.
“The majority of them were farmers, but they cannot do anything on their own now. They are now dependent. Solo Bojang was a very wicked man,” he said.
He said in a telephone conversation with former President Jammeh, the latter told him that some of the residents of Sintet were witches and they ate their children.
“Some of them died may be as a result of shame. They are no more alive,” the witness said.
He said the 2009 witch-hunt activity was not the first time witch-hunters invaded Sintet. He said the 2009 incident was the third witch-hunt incident.
He said one “Tambajiro” a marabout came to Sintet twice with the claim that he was spelling out witches from the community. The witness explained that this marabout went round the village from one compound to another. He said on the first visit, they were asked to converge at the community health center where they were forced to inhale smoke from a stove.
“Anyone who moves back because of the smoke was pushed back to remain where they were by the soldiers. No one was allowed to move back; we all inhaled the smoke,” he said.
He said the soldiers were led by Major Solo Bojang and the Green Boys were present.
“The soldiers were all armed,” the witness said.