By Sanna Camara
Highly placed sources close to the exiled Gambian dictator has revealed an elaborate plan by the ousted dictator to flee his exile base of Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, amidst growing consensus among African leaders to have him extradited to face charges for crimes committed under his rule.
Jammeh has already reached out to Moscow in the past weeks to use that country as his next destination but was “disappointed” that the country turned him down, sources say. Harare was also a target base but the growing political tension in that country, plus the age and health conditions of Robert Mugabe makes that country a less favourable destination.
Banjul has announced that there will be a truth and reconciliation commission but not without justice for the victims first. “There is growing consensus among African leaders for the ousted dictator to be extradited and tried of crimes committed under his rule,” the source said.
Secrete graves uncovered by investigators
Over three dozen bodies have been exhumed by the Police in Banjul in their quest to establish the whereabouts of disappeared and killed citizens over the past 20 years of Jammeh rule. Banjul has sought international help with scientific personnel and tools to help the Police handle this new quest.
With mounting pressure from the Gambian population, rights groups and civil society bodies, it has become apparent that Jammeh will eventually stand trial for disappearances, torture, rape, killings and other crimes. “The new government needs to identify the concrete steps it will take to investigate past abuses and ensure fair trials,” Human rights Watch said last month.
However, seeking refuge in jungles of Cassamance will bring further threats to the stability of the Gambia, Senegal and Bissau belt of the sub region. “These countries and ECOWAS in particular should be cautious of this and never allow Jammeh to use the jungles of the Cassamance as a base, lest we see a re-emergence of guerrilla warfare in the region,” a security analyst said.