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Ghanaian Vows To Bring Yahya Jammeh To Justice



Mr Kyere is the only known survivor out of 56 West Africans – most of them Ghanaian and Nigerian – who were murdered in The Gambia on or around 22 July 2005.

”It is my mission, on behalf of my friends, we want justice,” Mr Kyere, now aged 37, told the BBC in his home town in central Ghana.

”When we asked the police officers why we were there, they just said the orders came from above. For a long time we thought we would just be deported.”

But the migrants were handed over to ”the junglers” – paramilitaries whose torture and killings had helped keep Mr Jammeh in power since he grabbed it on 22 July 1994.

Some people believe that in the run-up to the 22 July ”revolution” commemorations, the migrants were thought by the paranoid regime to be mercenaries, acting on behalf of coup plotters.

Mr Kyere recounts their final journey in meticulous detail: ”Eight of us were loaded into the pick-up. They used one rope to tie four people, each with his hands on his back.

”A Nigerian who was a Muslim, began to pray “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest). This annoyed them. They sliced his back with a cutlass. He never raised his head again.

”The pick-up drove deeper and deeper into the forest. One of us complained of pain in his arm. A soldier slashed his other arm with the cutlass and said ‘which is more painful?’ Now the pick-up was full of blood. We all knew we were going to die and we tried to release ourselves.”

Mr Kyere succeeded: ”The others said ‘go and tell the world what Jammeh has done to us’. I jumped from the pick-up and I heard a voice – ‘who is that?’ – but I did not look back. I was running. The bullets passed over me.

”I heard the screams in Twi, ”awu rade gye yen” (Oh God save us), and the gunshots followed – so I realised the guys had been killed.”

Mr Kyere staggered through the forest. He hid from people for fear of being re-arrested.

After several days, he asked for help in a village. He was shown the way to the Senegalese border.

Mr Kyere eventually travelled back to Ghana, sought help from the authorities and set about travelling, with few means, hundreds of kilometres around his country to track down the relatives of his lost comrades. He has found 25 families so far, including that of Peter Mensah who left behind his wife and three children.

If Mr Jammeh is to be tried, lawyers will have to win his extradition from Equatorial Guinea.





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