Gambia: Witness Says Her Husband Was Killed When Daughter Was 5 Months Old

By Ousman A. Marong

Awa Sanneh, former wife of the late Omar Barrow told the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) that her daughter was 5 (five) months old at the time of shooting her late husband to death.

Awa was the wife of Omar Barrow, then journalist with Sud FM in Banjul and Red Cross volunteer who was shot to death on April 10, 2000.

According to her on April 10, 2000 early Monday morning her husband informed her about a planned demonstration to be organized by the students, and that he (Omar) should be on the ground to render humanitarian service.

“In the early hours of Monday on April 10, 2000 as he was reporting to work I saw him off,” she explained.

The 40-year-old said she was on her way to the market where she was informed by a lady that there were nobody at the market and that people were running for their lives.

“I return back home and informed my mother-in-law about the incident and she asked me to give her the money that she will go to the small market behind called ‘Marche Bundow’. As she returned back home her mood completely changed,” she remarked.

She said upon her mother-in-law’s arrival from the market, she told her Awa I am very afraid with the manner in which I saw the student with the army Chief of Defence Staff, Baboucarr Jatta.

She said few minutes after her mother-in-law’s utterance; people started coming into their house without informing them what was going on.

“A relative of mine appeared in and greeted us and I asked her what was the problem, but she gave me fake information that she was looking for a rent house and was told we had one,” he asserted.

She explained that a Red Cross volunteer also came into the house and she scolded him demanding for an answer from him regarding Omar’s whereabouts.

“The Red-Cross volunteer asked me to calm down, that Omar was not death, but he confirmed to me that he was shot,” said the witness.

She said it was around 2:00PM before they knew Omar was death.

Dilating on the effects of her husband’s death on her and the family, she said she was almost mentally imbalanced, adding that she constantly thinks about the husband.

“I always want to be with Omar because he was loving, caring and a very hardworking,” she praised.

She said her father-in-law was constantly mourning Omar till he (the old man) passed away.

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