Former Captain Momodou Kassama said he has found an American ambassador in the office of vice president Saikou Sabally and the VP told him that they are monitoring the situation. He said Jawara was not aware of the presence of Americans in Gambia who claimed there were in the country for a military exercise.
Momodou Kassama, an aide de camp to former president Dawda Kairaba Jawara, has told the Truth Commission that former dictator Yahya Jammeh was once kicked out of State House for alleged links to Kukoi Samba Sanyang.
A self-style revolutionary, Kukoi was the leader of the 1981 military takeover in Gambia which lasted for about two weeks, costing the country about 500 lives.
A socialist-oriented rebel believed to be connected to Libya’s Eldorado Momar Gadafi, Kukoi’s temporal overthrow of the Government was repealed by Senegalese intervention forces.
“There was rumour Yahya Jammeh was corresponding with Kukoi Samba Sanyang… He was removed from State House and taken to TSG (Tactical Support Group) headquarters,” said Kassama.
Kassama was an ADC to Jawara from1990 to 1994 when he was overthrown by Yahya Jammeh in what is now known to be a bloody coup.
He is the eighteenth witness before the Truth Commission investigating the human rights violations of Jammeh.
Several witnesses before the Commission have spoken of rumours of coup being planned against the Government though Kassama said Jawara did not take it seriously.
“People will come to him with rumours of coup all the time. He used to say if he listen to people he will go mad… He would say if it (coup) is meant to happen, it will happen. He believed in fate,” said Kassama.
He said after taking Jammeh out of State House, during the 1992 countrywide tour dubbed Meet the Farmers Tour at the time, he was involved in the security team.
He said at the time, there was a rumour that someone was planning to kill former president Jawara and Jammeh was a potential suspect.
He said he kept an eye on him during the whole tour.
“When the rumours came out I kept an eye on him… He came to me at Sapo and said “Kassama you are a chameleon” and “I said what do you mean”? He laughed and walked away,” said Kassama.
Kassama was with President Jawara until July 22 when the military overran the State House. He explained the chaos at the seat of power on the day of the coup.
He equally explained the unusual silence of the place that was supposed to be crowded with security forces. Kassama also revealed the unusual reception Jawara received after his return from United Kingdom.