Gambia: Father Says His Child Was Killed By Students

Muhammed Sarjaw said his child was trampled to dead by students who were running for their lives during the April 2000 nationwide students' demonstration.

19 years ago, Amadou Sarjaw at 2 was trampled at home by a crowd of students who were running for their lives from paramilitary officers who were shooting them.

The 61 - year - old father said his son Amadou Sarjaw was killed during the students' demonstration at their residence in Old Jeshwang. He said his son was two years old at the time of his demise.

"I saw students dressed in their different school uniforms running. I saw men in uniform were pursuing them and firing at them," he said.

He said he went out to observe the situation and he met students standing outside his compound. He said he retired to his house while his late child was playing around the compound and it was where the students came running into the compound. He said his compound has a front and backdoor. He added that the students were many and he couldn't rescue his child who was on the ground.

"The students passing push him on the ground and trampled on my son. I attempted to help him, but I couldn't because the number of people was large. So, I waited until they all passed then I came and helped him," he said.

He added: "When I picked him, I saw him stretched himself and I couldn't understand his situation then I took him to a doctor who told me that he was dead."

"What I observed was he was trampled on but I did not see any blood on him," he said.

He said he went to inform his mother but when he came back, he found out that James Kujabi has taken the child to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Banjul. He added that when he arrived at the hospital, he found James discussing with a Nigerian doctor at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital to check the child. He told the Commission that James was a brother to Yahya Jammeh.

He said the child was examined and later pronounced dead, adding that James drove them home and the corpses was buried on the same day.

He said the Gambia Government sent a delegation to him to show condolence to the demise of his son and gave him an envelope as a token.

Mr. Sarjaw was born in Basse Tambasansang in 1958 and now resides in Old Jeshwang.

On his recommendation, he said African (leaders) should ensure that they respect the fundamental rights of people.

"If the rights of the people are observed and respected, then peace and tranquillity will prevail. Whatever position one holds, you should know that it is the people who put you there and you should serve them well. The problem is our leaders see themselves as superiors to their people. The leaders are trustees and not lords," he said.

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