A Nigerian, Kehinde Enagameh, whose brother was killed along with more than 50 West African migrants in The Gambia in 2005 by a death squad controlled by former President Yahya Jammeh, will testify this week at The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission.
Enagameh is being represented by Femi Falana, a human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
Kehinde’s brother, Paul Enagameh, then 28, was one of nine Nigerians killed in the incident, according to a 2008 report by the Nigerian High Commission in The Gambia.
The other Nigerians victims have still not been identified.
In addition to the Nigerians, about 44 Ghanaians, and nationals of Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo are believed to have been killed over several days in July 2005.
On February 25, 2021, a former senior officer of Gambia’s National Intelligence Agency presented a list of the 51 migrants who had been arrested.
That list, which includes a “John Amase” of Nigeria, was apparently compiled after eight migrants had already been killed.
SaharaReporters obtained the list which has 39 Ghana nationals, Sierra Leone (3), Togo (2), Côte d’Ivoire (2), Senegal (2), Liberia (1), Nigeria (1), Congo (1).
A 2018 report by the Human Rights Watch revealed that Jammeh’s closest associates in the army, the navy, and the police detained the migrants, and then the “Junglers,” a unit of Gambian soldiers operating under Jammeh’s orders executed them.
“It’s been an emotional trauma for the whole family. I want the truth commission to investigate so we can know what happened to my brother, and I want Yahya Jammeh and those involved to be brought to justice,” said Kehinde Enagameh.
Previous official attempts to investigate the massacre have been stymied or flawed. Ghana attempted to investigate in 2005 and 2006, but was blocked by the then-Jammeh government. In 2008, the United Nations and the Economic Community of West African States formed a joint investigative team, which produced a report in April 2009 that was said to have concluded that the Gambian government was not “directly or indirectly complicit” in the deaths and enforced disappearances.
It blamed “rogue” elements in Gambia’s security services “acting on their own” for the massacre.
The UN/ECOWAS report has never been made public, however, despite repeated requests by the victims and by five UN human rights experts.