After 17 years since April 10th and 11th, 2000 students protests in the Gambia, which resulted in the killings of 14 innocent students, including a journalist and a Red Cross volunteer by the former Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh, Gambians can for once commemorate the life of those killed and maimed in the protests. Since that fateful day 17 years ago next week, we have been denied the chance to even mourn more so to commemorate our beloved ones. However, after the toppling of Dictator Yahya Jammeh through the 1st December 2016 presidential election in the Gambia, the families, friends and love ones of the victims will be able to celebrate and pray for them publicly this year without fear of reprisals.
It could be recalled that the April 10th and 11th protests was as a results of the killing through torture of a student Ebrima Barry by the Brikama Fire Brigates and a rape of a schoolgirl from Brikamaba by Paramilitary Officer(s) at the independent stadium in Bakau. These two incidents caused the then student leadership to seek redress from the authorities, nonetheless, all efforts by the students to bring to book those responsible for these crimes fell on deaf ear. This prompted Gamsu to organise a civil and peaceful march from Wesfield in Serekunda to Banjul to demonstrate their anger and seek justice for the two victims.
However, Jammeh refused to accept any peaceful march as he ordered his military to shoot anyone found demonstrating. Unfortunately, the orders were executed, that resulted in the death of 14 people, jailing and maiming hundreds more on those two fateful days. After these atrocities, Jammeh used his then rubber stamped National Assembly to indemnify the killers from prosecution. And since then, the killers have freely roamed in town while families and friends of the victims quietly and patiently waited for justice.
Meanwhile, the civil organisation April 10/11 Memorial Fund has organised a series of events to commemorate April 10/11 in the Gambian soil for the first time since the massacre. The events are as follows
Monday, 10th April, 2017
- Parade from GTTI through Jimpex road to the traffic light along the Kairaba avenue to Westfield. The march pass is scheduled to start @ 08.00 am
- A music festival at the Westfield monument scheduled to start @ 6pm onwards
Tuesday, 11th April, 2017
- A Symposium in the morning at Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI), formerly the Gambia Hotel School, time @ 9am to 1pm.
- Memorial Football match at the Serrekunda West mini stadium on Kairaba Avenue beginning @ 3pm prompt.
There is a dedicated website that anyone who wants to donate can go to and donate to this course as our fight is just beginning before we finally get justice for the April 10/11 victims and their families. The web address is www.april1011gambia.org , please donate to the fund for the victims and their families to finally have the long delayed justice once and for all.