Mr Solo Ebrima Sandeng at Westfield protesting in Gambia before his killing

A precedent has been set in the case of Solo Sandeng at the high court in Banjul on Thursday, 28 July 2016 after the judge had confirmed that Solo was killed by Gambia’s notorious National Intellegent Agency (NIA) agents. The Judge presiding over the case for the government to provide the whereabouts of Ebrima Solo Sandeng produced a death certificate and an affidavit from Sir Jeng (NIA agent) which stated that, the State cannot produce Solo Sandeng alive. Effectively meaning, Solo is dead.

This is only the second time after the killings of 14 students in April 2000 in Yahya Jammeh’s 22 years of mass arrest, torture and killings that his government had admitted to killing someone, which in itself is a victory to all those who sacrifice everything to see that Solo is produce dead or alive.

Solo’s case has set so many precedents such as people able to protest openly in the Gambia, speaking their mind and eroding fear in so many people about Jammeh. However, for the government to admit killing Solo is a major victory for everyone and set a precedent that nobody should die in the Gambia without the cause of death been established.

This is also a victory for the United Democratic Party (UDP) in so many ways, especially its leadership Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and Co who are currently illegally put behind bars for demanding what the government had just admitted to (killing Solo Sangeng). It also proved to the world that Mr Darboe and Co are prisoners of conscience as they committed no crime to justify their 3 year jail sentence.

Way Forward

Now that the government have admitted killing Solo Sandeng, the questions are how did he died, who killed him and where is his dead body? These questions are legitimate questions as they have yet to be answered and they are important in moving forward in the case and also to find closure for the family, friends and loved ones. To determine these, the UDP should demand the government to set up an inquest with immediate effect to get to the bottom of the matter. If not, then the UDP should challenge the government in the courts.

Everyone deserved a decent and humane burial, especially Solo Sandeng who put his life and family at stake for the sake of our beloved Gambia and as such the government should produce his body for him yo be buried by his loved ones. We pray that Allah the Almighty, grant Solo Sandeng the best in Paradise.