By Kebba Ansu Manneh
Lieutenant-General Sulayman Badjie, alias Saul Badgie, and thirteen (13) others, including two children, returned to The Gambia from Equatorial Guinea after spending five years in voluntary exile.
Lieutenant-General Saul Badjie and the thirteen other returnees have resided in Equatorial Guinea since 2017, when they left with former President Yahya Jammeh to his exile home in Malabo.
His return to the country comes barely 24 hours when the justice ministry made available to the public the much-awaited report and the recommendations of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), ruled the former right-hand man of the former President Yahya Jammeh guilty of his alleged participation in the murder of two Americans Mamud Ceesay and Alhagie Jobe.
Other returnees who came alongside General Badgie include Lt. Col. Wandifa Barrow, Lt. Col. Amadou Joof, Major Landing Tamba, Lt. Kaddy Colley, Class I Warrant Officer Musa Badjie, Sergeant Nyassi Lamin, Sergeant Jarju Landing, Sergeant Jammeh Lamin LB, Almameh Kujabi, Mariatou Jammeh, Awa Jammeh, Aramata Camara and two children.
Armed spokesman Captain MalickSanyang meanwhile confirmed the return of General Saul Badgie and the thirteen other returnees to the media, revealing that the military is well aware of the return of former President YahyaJammeh’s support staff.
Army PRO added that the men are in town and that Gambian authorities have provided shelter to them while they go through administrative procedures, adding that the group’s return has been facilitated through diplomatic channels.
Meanwhile, the office of the national security adviser issued a statement on Saturday confirming the return of former Jammeh’s support staff.
“Through the Office of the National Security Advisor, the general public is informed of the return to The Gambia of support personnel who traveled to Equatorial Guinea with the former President of the Republic of The Gambia, marking the end of the ‘deadlock in the 2016 presidential elections.’ NSA office issued.
He adds: “Five years later or so, these returnees have voluntarily made known their intention to return to their homeland and wished that arrangements be made to facilitate their return. Given the long absence of their families and relatives, the Gambian Government has listened and heard their plea, and has promised to study the best modalities that can be used to ensure an orderly and dignified reunification of their families. “
However, it could be recalled that General Badgie and some of those returnees were seen in viral videos gloating over President-elect Adama Barrow’s victory signaling their preparations for their return.
This is not the first time that former President Yahya Jammeh’s support staff have returned home to The Gambia, in 2019 General Umpa Mendy and weapons expert Ansumana Tamba returned home. Their return home resulted in their arrest, detention and prosecution, charges which they were acquitted by the courts.
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