FOLKS, tomorrow Friday and the day after Saturday, it will be April 10th and 11th respectively. Thus once again, we will be commemorating The April 10th/11th 2000 Student Massacre in The Gambia, at the orders of dictator president Yaya Jammeh. In line with the teachings of our fathers handed down to us from their fathers, that only half of us belong to us and that the other half belongs to the people: we have made ourselves available and in collaboration with other compatriots from The Gambia, we will take part in a panel discussion which will be transmitted by Fatouradio in a collaborative endeavor with other sister online radios. At the same time, we have been part of other efforts, some of which we are hopeful will be featured on Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th through other media outlets. On behalf of The Combatants of April 10th/11th 2000, we thank you all for your progressive and patriotic efforts.
Compatriots and friends of The Gambia: As we commemorate April 10th/11th 2000 this year, we call on all of you to join us in prayers for the souls of our fallen comrades to rest in peace in eternal paradise; and recovery and solace for those who have been injured and maimed for the rest of dear life. Furthermore, we respectfully urge you all to join us in prayers so that all of us, particularly the parents and loved ones of our fallen comrades, can be blessed with the fortitude to carry on with normal life, notwithstanding our great loss.
Compatriots and friends of The Gambia: You are hereby assured that but for the stupid politics of The Yaya Jammeh dictatorship in The Gambia, The Student Massacre of April 10th/11th 2000 would never have taken place. In view of the fact that the culprits in both the rape and murder case were members of the security establishments in the country, they dragged their feet and perpetually procrastinated on the institution of the due process of The Law. The murder and rape case took place on March 8th and 11th respectively. Within seventy two hours both the ministries of Education and The Interior were in the picture. The president of the country dictator Yaya Jammeh, was personally informed. From that point , we took up the matter with the top brass of the police department as a national student leadership. We never asked for anything other than the immediate and fair institution of The due process of The Law. But they procrastinated, apparently with intent to protect the criminals. It was at the realization of this attitude, that we send them a letter of demands, copied to the ministries of Education and The interior; as well as The Office of The President. We made it obvious that if our demands were not met, we would be obliged to take appropriate action. The rest is now common knowledge. We went out on Monday the 10th of April 2000 to protest the Murder of an eighteen year old Senior Secondary School male student, and the rape of a thirteen year old Upper Basic School female student. In line with their reactionary, barbaric and brutal instincts, they turned their guns on us and in demonstrations throughout the country in a two day spate, they gunned down twelve of us ; plus a Red Cross volunteer and a four year old unknown child.
Compatriots and friends of The Gambia: The massacre of Gambian students by the country’s own security forces while on peaceful demonstrations with legitimate greviances aptly exemplifies the character of the dictatorship in the country. The massacre was deliberate, and the orders came from dictator president Yaya Jammeh himself, an act for which he has never shown remorse. Instead, the government started off by blaming the students for starting the shootings. When the post mortem results did not corroborate that they backed off, and started blaming the student leadership for having been instigated by the country’s opposition. That has also fallen at the seams and any attempt to personally blame me for the demonstrations cannot stand because there is incontrovertible evidence that the decision to go out by the student leadership, was a collective one.
We therfore call on dictator Yaya Jammeh to redeem himself and embrace the truth about April 10th/11th 2000. Perhaps that is a waste of time because he is irredeemable as the devil himself. We therefore call on the great Gambian people to redeem our country from his bloody hands so that we can effect a process of national redemption, restitution and transformation. The devil cannot be a partner for anything good and meaningful.
We thank you all for your progressive solidarity and patriotic support and once more resolve that without Truth and Justice, there cannot be any reconciliation with the brutal dictator.
THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES!
By: OMAR JOOF