By Mustapha Jallow
A close relative of the late Dawda Bojang, who was reported to have died during the 30 December 2014 attack on state house in Banjul, has renewed the appeal of the family for his corpse to be handed over to them for burial as well as the release of his two parents, who are still being detained incommunicado for more than three months now.
The corpse of this former member of the Gambia Armed Forces, who was alleged to have been involved in the insurgency late last year, is still held in the mortuary at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in Banjul, while his father, Essa Bojang, and mother, Fatou Sonko, are still detained at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters, also in Banjul, apparently in connection with the event.
Speaking to this reporter, the close relative of the late Bojang said they have not yet been informed of anything regarding Dawda‘s corpse or when it will be released for the family, relatives and friends to proceed with the burial in keeping with the Muslim religious rites.
“We still don’t have the opportunity to access our loved ones who we understand are held at the NIA,” revealed this family source.
The relative added that the family is suffering and is in total distress as their son is dead and still not buried, while the father, who is partially disabled, and mother, a gardener and main breadwinner, are being held.
“We are pleading with the authorities to release them to end the trauma caused by the tragedy that has befallen our family since December last year,” he appealed.
Following the 30 December 2014 incident, the couple was arrested at their home village of Mbankam in the North Bank Region (NBR) on New Year’s Day (2015) by security agents in plain clothes who claimed to have come from Amdalai police station. After making several unsuccessful attempts to trace the two at such likely places of detention as the Amdalie, Barra and Banjul police stations and the NIA headquarters, the duo was eventually discovered to be held at the latter.