Police investigators and forensic experts were on Monday denied access to a village in southern Gambia where two U.S. citizens, who were killed by the West African nation’s ousted autocratic ruler, are buried.
Alhagie Mamut Ceesay and Ebou Jobe, two friends who went to the small nation across the Atlantic to start a software company where arrested by Gambian security forces, who accused them of plotting to overthrow the longtime ruler, Yahya Jammeh’s government.
Former Jammeh minister, Musa Amul Nyassi, who is now part of Jammeh’s APRC party coordination committee gathered some vigilantes and denied the police access to Alla Kunda to exhume the remains of Ceesay and Jobe from a suspected shallow grave.
A member of Jammeh’s special hit squad, ‘Jungulars’ led investigators to the site in the Foni region, not too far from a forest where the remains of three others, including a former U.S. Army captain were unearthed in a mass grave.
Jammeh was defeated in the December election by opposition candidate Adama Barrow. Jammeh is now in Equatorial Guinea after fleeing to safety. Regional troops from seven West African nations were poised to have him arrested after he refused to cede power.
Barrow is ruling over a deeply divided nation. Clashes between his supporters and that of the former dictator have been reported. Some dozen people have been injured in post-electoral skirmishes.
The West African nation will hold its first elections since the ouster of Jammeh some two months ago. They will be heading to the polls on Thursday to vote for their National Assembly Members. The first for the coalition of opposition groups since boycotting similar polls in 2011.
(Reporting and Writing by Lamin Jassey; Additional Writing and Editing by Sam Phatey)