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Gambia truth hearings grip nation as past atrocities emerge


<b>Gambia truth hearings grip nation as past atrocities emerge</b>BANJUL, Gambia (AP) — The confessions stop people short in Gambia’s sunbaked streets, drawing crowds to radios crackling with accounts of atrocities that are only now coming to light.
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Murders. Rapes. Beatings. For more than two decades the citizens of this tiny West African nation knew life was deeply troubled under dictator Yahya Jammeh, who fled into exile nearly three years ago after a surprise election loss.

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Cathy Vikulchik 2019-11-17 at 07:27

Three former hitmen were released from custody in The Gambia on Monday, sparking anger among the relatives of those murdered by ex-president Yahya Jammeh's infamous paramilitary unit known as the 'Junglers.' The men appeared before the country's Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) two weeks ago, where they accused Jammeh of ordering multiple hits, which included journalists, migrants and political opponents. Gambian Justice Minister Abubucarr Tambadou defended his decision to release the three men, saying it would encourage others who were involved in alleged human rights violations during Jammeh's 22-year rule to come forward.

The Gambia: Three former hitmen released after admission at reconciliation commission


The men belonged to the infamous 'Junglers' and allegedly took out multiple hits on the orders of former president Yahya Jammeh. They were released in a bid to encourage other perpetrators to come forward.
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Cathy Vikulchik 2019-11-17 at 07:26

President of Gambia since 1994 after a military coup, Jammeh was re-elected as president in 2001, 2006 and 2011, but lost to Adama Barrow in 2016. His time in office saw the oppression of anti-government journalists, LGBT people and opposition parties. His foreign policy led to a constantly strained relationship with the sole neighbouring country of Senegal. In 2013, Jammeh withdrew the Gambia from the Commonwealth of Nations, and in 2016 he began the process of withdrawing it from the International Criminal Court. It was later  rescinded by his successor. Jammeh is accused of having stolen millions of dollars from the country's coffers to fund a life of luxury. After leaving office, his assets were frozen by many countries and he went into exile. In addition to charges of corruption and human rights violations, he is also accused of having raped a number of young women.

Yahya Jammeh - Wikipedia



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