Gambia: Former GPTC Revenue Collector Says Bombarde Mistreated Captured West African Nationals in 2005

Chief Revenue Collector at the defunct GPTC on Thursday, said Colonel Kawsu Camara (alias Bombarde) had on 22nd July 2005 beaten several West African migrants, who were transported from the ferry terminal in Banjul to the Navy headquarters.

Ebrima Jallow, who was born in Niani District in 1971, said he was on 22nd July 2005instructed by his boss to pick some wrestlers at the ferry terminal in Banjul.

He said this was at night, not knowing the people he was going to pick were West African migrants.

He explained that the migrants' hands were tied at the time they were taken to the Navy headquarters. He said the migrants were forced to kneel down on the ground at the Navy headquarters in two rows and later Kawsu Camara (alias Bombardier) of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) came there and interrogated them.

"He held the ears of each of them and was asking them their names and nationality. If you answer, he will slap you and go to the next person. If you waste time, he will slap you," he said.

The witness said there were two people who were Senegalese, three Sierra Leoneans, three Togolese and forty-four Ghanaians.

"If you were slow to respond, Bombardier will slap you until you give an answer to him," Jallow said.

He said the migrants were later put inside a red bus which was donated to the Government of The Gambia by the Spanish Government and were joined by some armed soldiers and plain clothes officers. Witness Jallow said he was also on the bus together with the migrants, adding some military trucks were ahead of them and some were behind them, while the bus carrying the migrants was in the middle.

He said the two Senegalese were dropped at the Kairaba Police Station and they proceeded to a place around Kololi.

"I heard the soldiers saying Bombardier lives here. All the migrants were dropped there. Their hands were tied," the witness said.

He said they went back to their office at around 4:30 am.

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