Gambian police have arrested three family members of ousted former President Yahya Jammeh, according to a report filed late Wednesday by APA News.
The news agency, based in Senegal, said Gambian police spokesman Foday Conta confirmed that the Jammeh family members were arrested in Kanilai on Wednesday but did not say why they were taken to Banjul for questioning.
The report comes amid heightened political and social anxieties in The Gambia, where President Adama Barrow’s government is working to establish accountability for alleged human rights violations and other crimes committed during two decades of repression under the dictatorial Jammeh.
In some cases, Jammeh family members were also the victims of the former president’s tyranny, and in interviews have said they want to see justice for their own losses as well as those of their nation.
Gambians face new challenges and decisions on a near-daily basis as the government arrests or removes officials who served under Jammeh, who is now living in Equatorial Guinea after fleeing Banjul in January. Earlier this week, four banking officials who served under Jammeh were removed from office.
The APA report comes during the ongoing trial of Yankuba Badjie, the former head of the NIA, who along with eight other officers is charged in the torture and death of opposition leader Ebrima Solo Sandeng and others.
They are the first senior Gambian officials to be charged in connection with the detention, torture, extrajudicial killings and other human right abuses long associated with Jammeh and his henchmen.
Sandeng’s body was recovered in early March near the coastal fishing village of Tanji. Gambian authorities continue the search for the bodies of other victims of the Jammeh regime, and the grim task of locating and recovering the remains.
Barrow has consistently said his administration will focus on restoration rather than revenge, and has explored reconciliation models used in other countries.
Image: Yahya Jammeh