Gambia: a place of memory for the victims of Yahya Jammeh

In front of the Memory House, inaugurated at the end of October 2021 in Banjul (Gmabie).

© Charlotte Idrac / RFI

Text by: RFI Follow

2 min

Six candidates are in the running for the presidential election this Saturday, December 4.

Among them, outgoing president Adama Barrow and Ouseinou Darboe, “historic” opponent of the country's former strongman, Yahya Jammeh.

Among the issues: the victims of the old regime, which lasted 22 years.

In Banjul, the only place dedicated to them opened very recently last October: “Memory House”, the House of memory.

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With our special correspondent in Banjul,

Charlotte Idrac

It is an ocher house, where we go back in time around portraits of victims and their families.

Individual journeys told by the guide Sawyatou Bangura.

In the center of the main room, objects that belonged to missing women and men, an identity document, a belt, a tie or even a hat ...

It belonged to Siaka Fatajo.

He is considered the latest victim of the human rights violations of the previous regime.

Because when Yahya Jammeh went into exile in January 2017, he disappeared and no one has seen him since. 

"

The “Memory House” is an initiative of the NGO Aneked, the African Network against Extra-Judicial Executions and Enforced Disappearances.

It's essentially about remembering, and educating the younger generations,”

explains Lisa Camara, advocacy and human rights manager

.

Most young people only knew the Jammeh era.

If we forget what happened for 22 years, it will be difficult to prevent it from happening again in the country. 

"

A trial "possible with collective efforts"

Five years after Yahya Jammeh's electoral defeat and his departure for Equatorial Guinea, could a trial one day be organized?

Lisa Camara believes in it: “ 

Yes, absolutely, it is possible, with collective efforts.

And that is why we have compiled files such as in the case of the massacre of more than fifty migrants in 2005.

 ”

Guests for the inauguration of the Memory House in October, no government representative had attended.

According to the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, between 240 and 250 people died as a result of the state and its agents between July 1994 and January 2017. The commission's report was presented to the outgoing president last week.

Adamo Barrow has in principle six months to decide on the follow-up.

To read also:

In The Gambia, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission delivers its report on the crimes of the Jammeh era

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