Gambia: Daughter of Victim Narrates Her Mother's Agony

A daughter of Yahya Jammeh's witch - hunt victim has explained in detail the health complications her mother grappled with after drinking hallucinogenic concoction.

Fatou Fatty appeared before one of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission's (TRRC) regional hearings and testified about the 2009 witch - hunt activity conducted by so-called witch - hunters from Guinea Conakry. Her mother like many others were abducted and given concoction by the self-claimed witch - hunters.

Fatou Fatty appeared on behalf of her mother - Nyima Koteh alias Bouy Koteh who died around age 80.

In explaining how her mother was abducted, the witness said one of her mother's friend Adama Bojang came to her mother and informed her about a meeting at the village and told that the two of them should go together. She said her mother accepted and joined her friend because they were told that visitors came to have a meeting with the community not knowing the supposed visitors were witch - hunters. She told the TRRC that they found people drumming and dancing at the village square (locally Bantaba),.

"I went to the meeting ground but I found them drumming and dancing. My arrival coincided with my mother getting on board the vehicle," she said.

She added after the drumming and dancing, they asked her mother to get on board a vehicle. She said she saw men in military uniform armed with guns. She said there were people dressed in red clothes and they were going around the community. She testified the witch hunters held people against their will. She indicated those who declined to follow the witch hunters were forced to comply.

She remarked: "The people that were abducted were the ones dancing and they were told that they were going to cure them."

According to her, the abductees were made to dance against their will, adding that the abducted people were all elderly people. She testified some of them were forced to come to the village square while others came voluntarily.

"When they left, we were told that they were witch - hunters," she said, adding "the abducted people I saw on the bus were many, but all of them were from Jambur."

According to her, before her mother was abducted and given hallucinogenic concoction, she was healthy used to go to garden by herself, but after drinking the concoction, she began having health complication.

"When she returned, I saw a wound on her mouth and she sustained a broken tooth. She came home dizzy and she has never been the same until she died.

She used to fall whenever she went to the bathroom," she said.

She said her later mother became weak and objects fell from her hand frequently.

"Sometimes the things she used to say were incomprehensible. Even what she used to say was not clear," she said.

She said her mother was not able to communicate to any of her children because of her situation then. She said about three (3) days after drinking the concoction, her mother was hospitalized at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital for a month.

"The condition of her health did not improve until she died. She did not open her eyes until she died," she said.

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