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Gambia: Former CDS says soldiers were deployed with both blank and live ammunitions to quell 2000 students’ demonstration

October 2, 2019

By Adama Makasuba

Former chief of defense staff has said soldiers were deployed with both blank and live ammunitions to counter the April 10\11 students’ demonstration on the orders of former vice president Isatou Njie-Saidy.

 Baboucarr Jatta who was testifying the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission said “I deployed my men with both blank and live ammunition.”

He said he ordered his men to use blank ammunition but that his men also went with live ammunition to the demonstration.

He said that the former vice president Isatou Njie-Saidy ordered him to deploy soldiers to quell the demonstration, saying “the vice president told me that I should deploy my men that was an order, if I refused that will be disobey.”

He said the purpose of the order was to control the demonstration and put the demonstration under normalcy, adding that he couldn’t disobey the order of the former vice president Isatou Njie-Saidy.

Meanwhile, he also said: “when the pandemonium started they (students) knocked me from here up that place. When I saw the weapon I told them to go down and I went down, they (police intervention personnel) fired AK 47 at the students.”

He said they were flanged by groups of students who were very furiously coming toward in power toward them, adding that the students were stoning at them.

He said he saw the former minister of interior Ousman Badjie at the shooting around, saying he blamed Badjie for not stopping the shooting.

However, he slammed the defunct radio Fm to have accused him of giving the order of shooting in less than 30 minutes the radio, saying “how can you allow your radio alleged such…without properly doing your assessment.”

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