Army General who fled with Jammeh oversaw brutal crackdown on opposition protesters

Gambian military general who fled with the defeated dictator, Yahya Jammeh was commanding the riot police that arrested opposition protesters in April and May at a square in the commercial city of Serrekunda, police spokesperson Foday Conta says.

General Saul Badjie, a special military aide to Jammeh and commander of the presidential guard’s special forces ordered the violent crackdown on the protesters in which two people died and several people seriously injured.

UN Human Rights Chief said opposition detainees who were tortured were denied medical care. Solo Sandeng and Ebrima Nkrumah of the UDP died after being tortured by forces loyal to Jammeh.

Nine former officers of a spy agency only answerable to Jammeh have been charged with the killing of Sandeng and for torturing six opposition detainees at the National Intelligence Agency.

Gambia’s demoralized erstwhile Attorney General, Mama Fatima Singhateh defended the excessive use of force by the police to arrest the protesters, including opposition leader and now Foreign Affairs Minister Ousainou Darboe.

Singhateh accused unarmed protesters of throwing stones at the police, who she said had warned the protesters to disperse. Videos and images that were captured from the brutal crackdown proved otherwise.

General Badjie is said to have led a paramilitary squad, the jungulars, that targeted opposition politicians, journalists, activists and Jammeh’s perceived enemies. They carried out human rights abuses with impunity, including torture and killings.

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