Sunday, November 27, 2016

Lang Tombong Tamba is the architect of Jammeh's anti-Mandinka campaign says Ousman Sonko

Lang Tombong Tamba
Driven by personal ambition, Lang Tombong Tamba succeeded in convincing Jammeh that it was an absolute must to purge the Mandinka officers  from the military and security services, whom they perceive to pose an imminent and existential threat to a regime whose primary objective is to entrench the dictatorship.

It was because of this ethnocentric belief based more on the career ambition of one man - Gen Lang Tombong Tamba - that led Jammeh to the systematic purging - which, unfortunately included physical elimination - of Mandikas from the military and intelligence services.

Edward Singhatey, VP -ECOWAS
The March 2006 Ndure Cham's coup attempt provided the first opportunity for the policy to be put to the test but not before one of the regime's most feared - Daba Marenah - was framed and implicated in the coup attempt together with Lt Ebou Lowe, Lt. Alieu Ceesay, Warrant Officer Alpha Bah and Staff Sgt. Manlafi Corr.

Immediately following their arrest in March 2006, a meeting was convened at State House chaired by Yaya Jammeh.  Interior Minister Ousman Sonko, Gen. Lang Tombong Tamba. Captain Tumbul Tamba and Major Musa Jammeh were in attendance.  General Lang Tombong Tamba drew up a "kill list" of the accused that included former NIA Director General Abdoulie Kujabi and recommended that they be killed to send a strong message to Gambians.  However Abdoulie Kujabi's life was spared thanks to Ousman Sonko who, by his own account to the Spanish authorities, pleaded to Jammeh not to kill Mr. Kujabi.

The former Interior Minister of Yaya Jammeh has confirmed to the Spanish authorities that Daba Marena and his four colleagues were killed by Captain Tumbul Tamba and Major Musa Jammeh who returned to State House to report to Jammeh that the "mission was accomplished" and they bragged about it by describing the manner they were butchered.

We now know from Sonko's account of events that Jammeh actually took part in concocting the spurious official statement explaining to the world that the detainees were being transported to Janjangburay prisons about 250 km away when they escaped after the vehicle they were traveling in was involved in an accident, the plausibility of which was immediately questioned.

In Jammeh's Gambia, prisoners are handcuffed and shackled with leg-irons - reminiscent of slavery era -  and guarded by AK-47 totting prison guards.  The fact that they were never captured or sighted anywhere since further heightened the skepticism of he official line.  the circumstances leading to the disappearances of Daba Marena and his colleagues.
The late Daba Narena 

By Sonko's account, Lang Tombong Tamba was also able to convince Jammeh to purge the Singhatey brothers, first Peter and then Edward from his regime. Peter was exiled to the United Kingdom and Edward was relieved of his functions as a state Minister before being  banished to the University of the Gambia Law School.

After being appointed magistrate in a judiciary that is controlled by the Gambian dictator, his candidature for the Vice Presidency of ECOWAS was sponsored by the regime. He's now based in Abuja.  Both Edward and Peter Singhatey were part of the original coup makers and partners in arms with Jammeh who seized power from a legally constituted government of Sir Dawda Jawara.

Of those who participated in the decision to kill Daba Marena, Lt. Ebou Lowe, Lt. Alieu Ceesay, Warrant Officer Alpha Bah and Staff Sgt. Manlafi Corr, only Yaya Jammeh, Ousman Sonko and Gen. Tamba are alive.

Lang Tombong Tamba was ultimately implicated in a coup and sentenced to death only to be "pardoned" by Jammeh a year ago and reportedly living in obscurity in his native village of Sintet. Captain Tumbul Tamba and Major Musa Jammeh both died under mysterious circumstances and as far as we can ascertain Abdoulie Kujabi is living a painful existence from wounds inflicted from severe and sustained torture at the hands of his former subordinates at the NIA he once headed.