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17 years ago, day by day, 14 people, mostly students, were killed during a demonstration near Banjul.

They were protesting against the death of a young high school student killed by firefighters in Brikama and the alleged rape of a girl by the security forces, without any officials being tried.

The 10 and 11 April 2000 remain painful dates for the victims’ families. But on Monday, April 10, they were finally able to commemorate this date publicly.

For 17 years, it was necessary to remain silent. Impossible under the regime of Yahya Jammeh to organize such a demonstration.

But today, Chune Mbye and other parents who lost their child in 2000 can finally express themselves. ”  In the days of Jammeh, those who contradicted it a little too much could be eliminated.

But I’ve never forgotten my son, “said the father of a victim. And when the new government came to power, we knew it was our chance for justice to be done. Starting today, we can commemorate and teach everyone what happened. ”

An essential duty of memory, since the current students of the school from which the demonstration has left have never heard of this event.

“It’s just today, when I got there, I saw them put on T-shirts, talk about justice, and commemorate that date, ” one of them testified  .

In the procession, schoolchildren were invited to walk alongside the relatives of the victims. The Minister of Youth also made an appearance.

Youssoufa Mbye parades in a wheelchair, he has lost the use of his legs since the demonstration. ”  I was running and I was shot in the back,” he remembers.

Today I am sad, because it will remain forever in my head, I dream of it very often. I am angry because they have destroyed my life . ”

Abdou Karim Jammeh is also moved. He was 20 years old at the time and was also injured. ”  When I came here today, I almost cried. You can breathe a little, it’s really a historic day. It is a very special day for us. ”

The demonstrators now hope that the government will reopen the case so that the culprits are finally tried.

Axadle Times
Axadle International Monitoring – Africa

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