Thursday, January 29, 2015

Body of American veteran of Iraqi/Afghan war seized by Gambian dictator Yaya Jammeh

US Army Cptain Njaga Jagne
Lt. Colonel Lamin Sanneh
Momodou Njie, reportedly wounded

Since the 30th December attack at State House, the seat of government power, the dictatorial regime of Yaya Jammeh is still refusing to hand over the body of US Army Captain Njaga Jagne, a veteran Iraqi and Afghanistan wars.

The body of Lt. Col Lamin S. Sanneh, a resident and member of the Maryland State Guard is also among the bodies of those lost their lives in the attack against the State House, the seat of power of the regime of Yaya Jammeh.

Another known person who took part in the December attack is one  Momodou Njie, a former presidential guard who is reported to have been wounded and in a Banjul hospital where conditions are deplorable.

Reports are that the conditions of the bodies are not under the optimal condition because of the poor and irregular supply of electricity.   The bodies have been held at the Banjul mortuary under heavy military guard since US Army Captain Njaga Jagne and Maryland National Guard Lt. Col. Lamin S. Sanneh   lost their lives fighting with government forces to remove a dictatorship that has brought nothing but hardship and economic backwardness to a once democratic and free-market nation in West Africa.

The regime’s insistence on holding the bodies of these American veterans hostage for an entire month is psychologically traumatizing as it is an illustration of the Gambian dictator’s macabre fascination with his victims tortured bodies.  Jammeh is known to order his torture squad to videotape their sessions for him to watch at his leisure time.  

This psychopathic display of disrespect of the dead is both inexcusable and unacceptable to Gambians as well as the American government.  Therefore, the administration should redouble its efforts by forcefully demand the release of the bodies returned to loved ones for proper burial.  The families of these gallant men should not be put through this trauma.  Their bodies must be released and those wounded repatriated to their respective countries of residence.

Because of lack of transparency of the regime, it is unclear as to the number and nationalities of all those killed and wounded.  What is known, outside of retired US Army Captain Njaga Jagne and Maryland National Guard Lt. Col. Lamin S. Sanneh, is that there is a third victim identified as Momodou Njie, and presently suspected to be under guard and perhaps being subjected to severe torture.  It’s being listed as a resident of Spain.

This appeal is not only directed at the United States government but also to all US veteran organizations but particularly to the Iraqi and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).  Do not leave your own behind, even it is not is a typical battlefield. But nonetheless a battlefield for them fighting an undemocratic, despotic and tyrannical regime that is against everything America stands for.