Gambia: Sintet Woman Tells Truth Commission Her Parents Were Forced to Drink Concoction

Gambians celebrate Yahya Jammeh's fall

Jarra Colleyhas told Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) that her two parents were captured by witch doctors and forced to drink concoction in Kanilai.

Jarra told the Commission on Wednesday her father Musa Colley and mother Bojang Darboe were both captured in the 2009 witch-hunt exercise by people believed to be foreigners. According to her, her parents were part of several residents of Sintet who were abducted by witch doctors and taken to Kanilai where they were forced to drink concoction.

She testified that they were captured by witch-hunters who were escorted by soldiers and personnel of the Police Intervention Unit. According to her, these people were going round communities abducting people with the claim that they were witch-hunters. She testified that the witch doctors had mirrors that they used to point at people, adding they forced their captives to get on board a waiting vehicle.

She told the Commission that her mother drank the concoction in Kanilai and as a result of that ordeal she is still suffering from the consequence of the concoction. She testified that her Father returned home on the same day he was abducted, although he was also taken to Kanilai. She said her mother spent two days in Kanilai and returned home in a different state.

She said her father's abduction came after he demanded to know where they were taking his wife (mother).

"My father asked them whether they are the ones who should cure her or was it his responsibility to cure her? However, they closed my father's Koran and ordered him to go with my mother," she said.

She said her mother's release on the second day came after she told the witch-hunters that she was a witch and has eaten two people.

Mrs Colley testified that when her mother returned home, her tongue was 'heavy' and it was difficult to understand what she was saying; adding that she was embarrassed and unhappy.

She told the commission that she holds Yahya Jammeh responsible for what happened to her parents.

"After drinking the concoction, my father kept on falling down," she said.

She said her mother told her to emphasize to the TRRC that she is not feeling well as a result of the concoction she drank in 2009. On whether she suffered any stigma, she responded in the positive.

"We are still feeling the stigma and this is why my mother does not go out because people would point at her as a witch," she said.

Mrs Colley appealed to Gambians to continue praying for the country so that it would not have a leader like Yahya Jammeh.

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