Gambia: Former military commander goes into hiding

Gambia: Former military commander goes into hiding

A former military commander accused of kidnapping and the murder of several people have gone into hiding after a lower court in the Gambia’s capital issued a warrant for his arrest.

Lt. Col. Solo Bojang was a senior military aid to the ex-President Yahya Jammeh and the head of Jammeh’s farm operations. He led the mass arrested of at least a 1,000 people, mostly senior citizens accused of witchcraft.

Those arrested by Lt. Col. Bojang were tortured and forced to drink concussions that made them hallucinate. Several people died and much more suffered health complications.

Bojang, who has gone into searching is also wanted for the killing of journalist Deyda Hydara and the assassination of coup plotters, including ex-spy chief Daba Marena in the botched 2006 attempt to overthrow Jammeh.

The military police descended on his home to arrest him but a security source said: “it seems he was alerted about the arrest and he had gone escaped before the arrival of the arresting team.”

He is suspected to have fled to the southern Senegal region of Casamance and likely to head towards the Guineas or embark on a perilous journey to reach Europe, far from the sudden reach of Gambian authorities.

Lt. Col. Bojang fell out of favor with Mr. Jammeh in the spring of 2014. Jammeh had accused him of theft from the farm and had him imprisoned. The ex-leader continued to keep him in prison despite being acquitted by the courts.

He was released from prison after new President Adama Barrow defeated Jammeh in the polls and took office last year. He is among 300 prisoners that were released by the new government before the launch of investigations into human rights abuses.

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