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Gambian soldier says ex-president ordered him to kill migrants

BBC Africa/Maximilian Kasseh, Jr.
 former President Yahya Jammeh,
former President Yahya Jammeh,

A Gambian soldier has admitted to participating in the 2005 execution of around 50 migrants on the orders of former President Yahya Jammeh, who is reported to have feared the men had come to overthrow him.

Lt Malick Jatta was giving testimony before the country's Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) which is investigating atrocities committed during Mr. Jammeh's 22-year rule.

He earlier admitted involvement in the murder of the journalist Deyda Hydara in 2004 on the orders of the former president.

Mr. Jammeh - who now lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea - always denied any involvement in the deaths of the migrants or the journalist.

Lt Jatta's confession corroborates the findings of human rights activists and campaign groups including Human Rights Watch.

Its report said the West African migrants, who were headed for Europe, were arrested and executed after the boat they had boarded in Senegal landed in The Gambia.

 


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