Executed Ex-Soldier’s Sister Speaks
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
The Gambia government had confirmed the execution of Mr. Jarju and eight other death row inmates by firing squad last month.
“Lamin was a very gentle, religious and easygoing brother who loves to make us laugh. He encourages us to take our education very seriously and even assures our parents that as long as he lives, none of his sisters would ever get married until they finish their education,” Juwana somberly told Kibaaro News.
“He used to convince our parents that educating a woman is equal to educating the entire world, for women would make good use of their education to teach their kids about the values of education,” Juwana said in between sobs.
“I still have recollections of the days when Lt. Jarju was promoted after he came from military training in Turkey. He used to come home with friends in military attire. Lamin would fill our home with laughter and joy whenever he was around. As our big brother, he had never made us scared of him. In fact, we were more scared of our parents than him. We freely asked him about anything we wanted to know.”
Juwana said Lt. Jarju was not “only my brother but also a close friend. His incarceration had a great toll on my family. It resulted to my father’s death. We find it hard to cope with Lamin’s incarceration and my father’s demise. They are both too striking and painful. But our hope had neither faded, nor lost mainly due to my brother’s words of encouragement that “God and Gambian people would be there for us when he wasn’t around,” she said with rolling tears.
Juwana, who now resides in United Kingdom, said she grew up in the hands of Mr. Jarju. “He used to encourage me and buy me most of the things I wanted as long as I continue passing my exams. He would provide anything I asked from him even if it means spending his last Dalasi. He loves me so much,” she said.
“I am grateful to all those who sympathized with us during this time of sadness and great loss. As a faithful person, I believe that Allah gives and takes. Lamin is in heaven because he truly died for what he believed in. I can never forget him. I truly missed him.”
Juwana’s husband, Alkali Dibassy, described Lt. Jarju as “a calm and brave man who loves every member of his family and the humanity at large.” Mr. Dibassy last saw Lt. Jarju in Mile II Central Prisons in 2004 shortly before he traveled abroad.
Lt. Jarju and some colleagues escaped the November 11, 1994 massacre and fled to Senegal before coming back to launch an attack on Kartong military post two years later. Of all the four attackers – Lt. Lamin Jarju, Lt. Lamin Jammeh, and Lt. Alieu Bah – only Alagie Cham Joof (Sir Jackal) escaped arrest.
“I did not speak to Lamin about the alleged coup, but the Lamin I know would never abandon his friends even at the point of death. He is always determined to achieve whatever he sets his mind on,” said Mr. Dibassy, saying, “Lamin’s demise has created a vacuum inside us forever. He was such a wonderful brother and peacemaker who could not hurt a fly.”
He thanked Kibaaro News for soliciting quotes from his wife. “Without your efforts, Juwana would not have the courage to talk to anyone because she is inundated with shock and fear. She is really disturbed.”
Author: Kibaaro News