Gambia: Security forces, angry villagers clash outside exiled ruler’s abandoned home

Villagers and security forces clash in Kanilai, home to the Gambia’s former president, Yahya Jammeh after vigilante youths guarding the abandoned presidential compound denied the police entry.

The police and a team of forensic experts were en route to a secret burial site in Alla Kunda, where two U.S. citizens, who were killed by Jammeh are buried in a shallow grave.

Villagers, who were visibly angry say the farm is a private property and security forces must first get permission from Mr. Jammeh’s extended family, which oversees the property to pass through.

Jammeh owns a huge farm, which separates Alla Kunda from Kanilai close to the border with Senegal’s southern Casamance region. Police say they have to go through the former presidential compound to have access to the secret burial site.

Jammeh is reported to have dug a well in Alla Kunda where he threw bodies of those he executed during his brutal rule and used his farm to block access to the area.

A former member of Jammeh’s Jungulars, a special hit squad sanctioned by the former ruler informed investigators of the location of the graves of Alhagie Ceesay and Ebou Jobe, who traveled to Banjul to start a software company.

The police may now have to go to the courts to secure a warrant to pass through the former presidential compound to exhume the remains of Ceesay and Jobe, whose families held a special prayer for them last week and waiting to give them a proper burial.

Gambian authorities are investigating the whereabouts of some 30 of its citizens whose families say they have been killed by Jammeh. At least three mass graves have so far being located, according to government sources.

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