Farafenni Camp Attacker Back in Court

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

One of the alleged 1996 Farafenni camp attackers, Abdoulie Sonko, on Thursday April 26th 2007, reappeared before Justice Monageng of the Banjul High court.

During cross-examination by the defense counsel, Mai Fatty, the state witness, Lt. Col. Biran Saine, stated that the attack started at around 3 am and lasted for almost eight hours.
On how many people attacked the military camp, Lt. Col Saine said he did not know the number of the attackers, but that he himself saw six of the attackers. He responded that none of the attackers were a member of the Gambia Army Forces, nor any of them lived in the camp. He said that when he was taken hostage at the guard post by the attackers, the armoury had already been broken into.

Still responding to questions from the defense counsel, the state witness Lt. Col Saine stated that the armoury had a strong door, adding that when he arrived at the armoury, the door was already open. He said he saw one of the attackers in military camouflage coming from the store. He added that after the incident, they improved the security of the camp after identifying the areas of improvement.

In response to a question on who was responsible for sentry duties in the camp, the state witness adduced that the RSM and Adjutant were responsible for the duty roster. He further answered that he had seen four dead bodies and an injured soldier around the guard post area, adding that he did not see them when they were shot, but stated that they had bullet wounds.
He stated that he could not tell at what time the attackers started loading weapons into the gele gele and the pick-up vehicles, but that he only became aware when he was taken hostage and taken to the armoury. He recollected that after loading the weapons into the two vehicles, the attackers took off in the direction of Baobolong.

He added that when the attackers encountered with the reinforcement from Banjul, they abandoned the vehicles and scampered into the bush, running helter skelter. He disclosed that one of the attackers then opened fire, provoking the reinforcement from Banjul to retaliate in like manner.
He recalled that the other soldiers taken hostage during the said attack were Bajinka and Baldeh.
Hearing continues on a later date.

Author: By Modou Sanyang
Source: The Point