Gambia exhumes remains of seven soldiers linked to 1994 Jammeh overthrow attempt

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Remains of seven Gambian soldiers who took part in an attempt to overthrow Yahya Jammeh in November 1994 have been exhumed as part of the investigation into the country’s troubled past.

A file photo of former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh (AFP)

According to a statement released by the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), after a two-week search at the barracks at Yundum (about 18 kilometres from the capital Banjul), investigators “exhumed the skulls of seven military personnel executed 25 years ago.”

More than 20 soldiers were executed following the failed coup.

The coup came just a few months after Jammeh had seized power, overthrowing the democratically-elected government.

“We will continue digging until we see the other skulls,” forensic archaeologist and crime scene investigator Thomas Gomez was quoted by the TRRC as saying after the exhumation.

“We cannot tell who is here, but all we can tell you is that seven people were buried in this grave. Seven pairs of underwear were also recovered and this could attest to the fact that they were almost half-naked when they were being buried.”

Relatives of the soldiers were present when the skulls were recovered.

In December 2016, Jammeh was forced out office after losing elections to Adama Barrow.

He went into exile in Equatorial Guinea in January 2017 after fellow West African states intervened militarily.

 

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