Ghana is still to fully recuperate from a shock over the killing of forty-four of its citizens on Gambian soil.
Carried out at a time Yaya Jammeh was Gambia’s head of state, the Ghanaians were part of migrants using the Smiling Coast as a transit as they awaited people’s smuggling boats to head off.
Various theories have been offered explaining how they found themselves in Gambian waters but the most shared among narrations is the that they were here in search of provisions and fuel to continue their journey.
Soon word went around about suspicious-looking people loitering around bank of the Gambian river as the navy swooped in on them and effected arrests.
They were later transferred to the security headquarters with little grilling done over their intentions.
However, intelligence report soon reached tagging them as “mercenaries” dispatched by the Ghanaian government to over throw Jammeh’s regime. How true this though was a subject of mystery until the recent confession of soldiers last year cleared the coast.
The year was in 2005 and the date July 22nd -the same day Jammeh commemorates the 1994 coup plot that installed him as Gambia’s president.
At the time, it was apparent that the migrants were killed as right groups joined Ghana’s government to condemn the killing leading the tempestuous relationship between the two countries.
Ghanaians and Gambians alike were last year left dumbfounded after Jammeh’s hit-men confessed in a televised hearing of carrying out the killings.
“We were transporting them one by one to the firing ground me and Alieu Jeng. Sanna Manjang and Malick Jatta were standing there. They were fire at them and we will come back.
“When we arrived at the ground Solo (Bojang) said these people are mercenaries. The order from the head of state Yaya Jammeh is that they’re all to be executed. When we were transporting them, I was investigating them whether it was true that they were mercenaries. He said they were not mercenaries but were going to back way (local word for Europe by boat),” Omar Jallow (Oyaa) , an ex-Jammeh hit-man told commissioners investigating the deaths.
Only one person managed to escape.
Jammeh was toppled in the 2016 polls by Adama Barrow ending his 22-year rule in the Gambia.