By PA ABLIE CORR
Imam Dembo Bojang, a survivor of the 2009 ‘witch hunting’ exercise allegedly spearheaded by former President Yahya Jammeh has told the TRRC that he is still suffering from pains due to the consumption of the concoction that he was given by the ‘witch hunters.’
Bojang appeared before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) on Monday, November 18, 2019 in Jambur village, Kombo North, West Coast Region at their ongoing regional hearing.
The Commission came into being through an Act of the National Assembly to investigate past human rights violations that happened under the 22 years tyrannical reign of former President Yahya Jammeh.
He gave the names of 10 people who died in Jambur as a result of drinking what he believed to be poisonous concoction.
He said those who died were Manjiki Cham, Kaddy Jatta, Dembo Jalitou, Lamin Dandan Bah, Saikou Camara, Bouy Kotteh, Kosa Darboe and Mamadou Kumba among others.
He also gave names of some of the people who are living on the sick bed as a result of the concoction.
He said the ‘witch hunters’ were led by Ali Ceesay from Latriya village and he was accompanied by ex-Major Solo Bojang with armed soldiers and Yahya Jammeh’s Green Boys.
He added that Solo Bojang was also armed, further explain that when they arrived, their alkalo (village head) told them that these people were marabouts and they came to cure people.
He said the purported marabouts went to the community cemetery where they sacrificed a cock and a goat.
According to the witness, when they came back, they began going around the village in search of people.
The witness said he was caught and later his biological brother was also abducted, stating that the purported marabouts brought all those who were captured on the bus.
“We were told that they came to cure us when none of complained to them about any sickness,” he said.
He said they were taken to Kololi at the residence of late Baba Jobe, a former lawmaker.
He said even though some of them were caught during lunch time at the village they were not given lunch by the ‘witch hunters’.
He said late in the evening, they were asked to line up and each of them was given a concoction in a B&B condensed milk tin.
The witness added that they were asked to remove their clothes and they were bathed by young boys including the women among them (victims).
“If it was not the use of force, no human being will drink that concoction given to us. It was very dirty and unpleasant. We drank the concoction at a toilet,” he told the TRRC.
Imam Bojang said after drinking the concoction, he began realizing drastic changes in his body including dizziness and lack of strength among other health complication which he preferred not to mention publicly.
“The concoction has weakened me. I am no more the person I was,” he said.
He said they were released the following day, adding that many of them suffered from diverse health complication while some have virtually paralyzed.