Former Charles Taylor rebel commanders in Gambia’s army

Former Charles Taylor rebel commanders in Gambia’s army

Fighters for Liberian warlord Charles Taylor, who are of Gambian descent were recruited into the Gambia’s army to spy and commit human rights abuses for the ex-Gambian leader, Yahya Jammeh.

Col. Bunja Gibba, Col. Ebrima Waa Drammeh, Col. Bunja Nyassi, Col. Swandi Camara, Col. Luwang Camara and Major Musa Njie, former members of Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia were discreetly enlisted and paid by Jammeh through the army.

At least five of them have been arrested since Jammeh’s ouster and helping authorities to unearth the whereabouts of tens of missing people, who were perceived enemies of the autocratic ruler.

Major Musa Njie, Col. Ebrima Waa Drammeh, Col. Bunja Nyassi, Col. Swandi Camara and Col. Luwang Camara have been arrested since March and detained by the military, according to military sources that spoke to the Fatu Network.

Swandi and Luwang Camara have been charged with the kidnapping and killing of a former Member of Parliament and a businessman, Mahawa Cham and Saul Ndow, who were implicated in a 2006 thwarted putsch against Jammeh.

A military source last month told the Foroyaa Newspaper that Gen. Saul Badjie, a right-hand man to Jammeh oversaw the hiring of private citizens and foreigners to commit human rights abuses in the West African nation’s military.

West African leaders were put on high alert that Jammeh had hired former Liberian and Ivorian mercenaries to help keep him in power after refusing to cede power to his rival, Adama Barrow.

Regional troops were deployed to depose him, forcing the military-backed strongman to flee to Equatorial Guinea with some of his most trusted aides, including Badjie.

Gambia’s new military chief, Lt. Gen. Masanneh Kinteh has vowed to launch reforms. Personnel of the Gambia’s army is to be vetted in hopes that those that were unscrupulously enlisted would be weeded out.

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