Gambia: Edward Singhatey Admits Taking Part in Brutalization of Security Detainees

Ousman A. Marong

Edward David Singhatey, former Vice Chairman of Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) has in his testimony before the TRRC today accepted taking part in the brutalization of security detainees.

The third junta member to appear before the Truth Commission after Sanna B. Sabally and Yunkuba Touray was asked about his role in the arrest and detention of these security detainees by lead Counsel Essa M. Fall.

Singhatey responded: “Sir I was responsible by the decree and I am telling you I am liable.”

Signatehey who was subpoenaed by the TRRC for his adversely mentioned on gross-human right violation is today making his second appearance before the Commission.

“I accepted taking part in the brutalization of these security detainees. I am not acting Godly to eschew myself of responsibilities,” said the subpoenaed AFPRC bigwig.

He denied putting his gun in the mouth of former Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Ebrima Chongan and Captain Mamat O. Cham.

Control over Yundum Barrack
“I went with Lamin Senghore and we infiltrated the camp through the gate. As we entered the camp there were movements of soldiers coming in and out of the barrack. We saw a soldier coming. I laid down my trap in which I was standing under a dark tree and I quickly held his mouth,” said the witness.

He said he could see the frustration in the said soldier that he was not part of the planned coup.

“I asked him to take the opposite direction and leave as quickly as he could. As he was going through the direction I heard exchange of gunshots from Sanna B. Sabally’s end. The exchange gunshot didn’t take that long and we took over the camp,” he said.

He revealed that a group of soldiers were designated to arrest Basiru Barrow.

“We received the information that Basiru Barrow was on his way coming. As soon as he entered the camp he was arrested and beaten. In the crossfire some lost their lives and Lieutenant Abdoulie (Dot) Faal together with Basiru Barrow were arrested and put into a waiting military truck,” he explained.

He said Basiru Barrow was bitterly beaten and was put in a cell.

He informed the Commission that the captured soldiers were transported to the Mile ll Central prison and later taken to Fajara Barrack.

He said as they entered the Fajara Barracks they received gunshots that lasted for some hours.

Singhatey recalled that he shot a soldier in the ass, but denied recalling the name of the soldier.

“I have shot only one person and injured him.”

In your entire life in the army you only shot one person and injured him,” asked lead Counsel.

“Yes sir,” replied the witness.

The witness denied claims that council members shot at the captured soldiers.

“We ordered the guards to shoot at them. There was no need for us to shoot at them. I take full responsibly in the killing of the captured soldiers,” he said.

Lead Counsel Faal further asked: “Did Council members converge amongst themselves to crush the coup plotters.”

“It was an order that we should crush the coupists and takes no prisoners (kill) and we did just that. You see Counsel, this is not between me and you, it is about me and the state,” he said.

“Let us not moody the water, I have asked you many a times and you are giving me different answers which are irrelevant,” responded Lead Counsel.

He alleges that former President Yayha Jammeh gave them the order that ‘take no prisoners’ upon their departure to quash the coupists in Yundum Barrack.

The witness agreed in murdering soldiers in November 11, 1994. 

Further execution in Yundum Barrack
He said upon arrival at Yundum Barracks Sanna B. Sabally ordered that the captives soldiers to be executed.

He named soldiers such as Sergeant Fafa Nyang, E.M. Ceesay, Basiru Camara, Lieutenant Basiru Barrow, Lieutenant Abdoulie (Dot) Faal, among others who were executed.

Singhatey apologized to the victims of the executed soldiers and asked for their forgiveness.

The witness denied his involvement in tying the captured soldiers behind.

“Yes they were tied of course and the reason of tying them up was to make sure they did not jump up and run,” he said.

He further mentioned former CDS Baboucarr Jatta, Sanna B. Sabally, Yunkuba Touray, Sadibou Hydara, to be among council members who participated in the summary execution of alleged coup plotters in November 11, 1994 at Yundum Barracks.

Mass graves
He said the executed soldiers were buried in mass grave.

“Governments statement on state television on the issue of the executed alleged coup plotters was a lie and misleading,” confirmed the witness.

He said the government of the Gambia issued a statement in the aftermath of the November 11, 1994 coup that there were group of soldiers who tried to overthrow the junta and they were confronted by the loyal soldiers and exchanged gunshots in which some soldiers lost their lives.

leave a reply