Kehinde Enagameh, a Nigerian whose brother was killed along with more than 50 West African migrants in The Gambia in 2005 by a death squad controlled by former president Yahya Jammeh, will testify at The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission (TRRC) this week.
Paul Omozemoje Enagameh, then 28, was one of nine Nigerians killed in the incident, according to a 2008 report by the Nigerian High Commission in The Gambia. The other Nigerians victims have still not been identified.
In addition to the Nigerians, about 44 Ghanaians, and nationals of Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo are believed to have been killed over several days in July 2005. On February 25, a former senior officer of Gambia’s National Intelligence Agency presented a list of 51 migrants who had been arrested. That list, which includes a “John Amase” of Nigeria, was apparently compiled after eight migrants had already been killed and others had escaped custody.
A 2018 report by Human Rights Watch and TRIAL International, based on interviews with 30 former Jammeh-era officials, found that Jammeh’s closest associates in the army, the navy, and the police detained the migrants, and then the “Junglers,” a unit of Gambian soldiers operating under Jammeh’s orders, summarily executed them. In July 2019, three former Junglers testified publicly before the truth commission that they and 12 other Junglers had carried out the killings on Jammeh’s orders. One of the officers, Omar Jallow, recalled that the operation’s leader told the men that “the order from … Jammeh is that they are all to be executed.”
“It’s been an emotional trauma for the whole family. I want the truth commission to investigate so we can know what happened to my brother, and I want Yahya Jammeh and those involved to brought to justice,“ said Kehinde Enagameh.
Previous official attempts to investigate the massacre have been stymied or flawed. Ghana attempted to investigate the killings in 2005 and 2006, but was blocked by the then-Jammeh government. In 2008, the United Nations and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) formed a joint investigative team, which produced a report in April 2009 that was said to have concluded that the Gambian government was not “directly or indirectly complicit” in the deaths and enforced disappearances. It blamed “rogue” elements in Gambia’s security services “acting on their own” for the massacre. The UN/ECOWAS report has never been made public, however, despite repeated requests by the victims and by five UN human rights experts.
Kehinde Enagameh is represented by Femi Falana, Senior Advocate of Nigeria,
For a graphic illustrating the basic facts of the massacre, please visit:
For a graphic illustrating the attempts to investigate the massacre, please visit:
To watch a statement by Kehinde Enagameh, please visit:
For more information, please contact:
In Lagos Femi Falana, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (English): +234 703 087 8707
In Barcelona, for Human Rights Watch, Reed Brody (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese): +1-917-388-6745; or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @reedbrody
In Banjul for the Africa Center for International Law and Accountability and the Jammeh2Justice Ghana Coalition, William Nyarko (English): +233-561-766680; or email@example.com.