Ghana: Martin Kyere to Testify in Germany Over 2005 Gambia Killings

Launch of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the dictatorship of Yahya Jammeh, on October 15, 2018 in Banjul, The Gambia.
18 January 2023

Kumasi — A survivor of the unlawful killings of about 44 Ghanaians in The Gambia in 2005, Martin Kyere, is to testify before a German court against Bai Lowe, one of the alleged perpetrators of the massacre.

Lowe left The Gambia to seek asylum in Germany but he was arrested in Hanover, Germany, in March 2021 under the international criminal law principle of universal jurisdiction and charged with murder, attempted murder, and crimes against humanity.

One of the charges related to his alleged role in the murder of Deyda Hydara, a Gambian journalist and founder of The Point newspaper, a statement copied to the Ghanaian Times on Monday by the Jammeh2Justice Coalition has stated.

The Jammeh2Justice Coalition is a coalition of civil society organisations led by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) formed to advocate justice and reparations for the Ghanaian victims' families and survivors of the massacre.

The rest of the members are the Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA), Amnesty International Ghana, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC) and POS Foundation.

Mr Kyere was said to have jumped from a moving pick-up truck that was transporting the Ghanaians and otherWest African migrants to a spot where they were summarily executed.

He is scheduled to testify before the German court presided over by Judge Ralf Günther in Celle this week.

Lowe, a member of the 'Junglers', a hit squad some of whose members executed the Ghanaians on the orders of former President, Yahya Jammeh, denied the charges, adding he did not participate in the killings in his statement to the court read by his lawyer earlier.

Lowe had told Freedom Radio in an interview on February 24, 2013 that he was the driver of the 'Junglers' who executed the Ghanaians and other West African migrants.

The migrants were thrown into a well in Yunoor, near Casamance, on the border between The Gambia and Senegal.

Some of the bodies of the migrants were dismembered and put in plastic bags, he added.

In December 2021, The Gambia Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) found 13 members of the Junglers culpable for the killing of Ghanaians and other West African migrants and recommended their prosecution along with former President, Jammeh, who allegedly gave the orders for the killings.

The Gambian government issued a White Paper in May 2022 accepting the TRRC recommendations; however, no prosecution of the alleged perpetrators has begun in The Gambia.

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