A former military aide to Gambia’s ex-dictator wanted in the killing of the West African nation’s ex-spy chief has been arrested by the police in New Jersey’s Essex County.
Yusupha Sanneh, 47, a former guard to then-President Yahya Jammeh is among half a dozen former soldiers charged with the murder of Daba Marenah and at least six others.
Marenah was killed in 2006 by suspected members of Jammeh’s paramilitary hit-squad after he was linked to a failed coup to oust the then-autocratic ruler, Yahya Jammeh.
Gambian authorities issued an arrest warrant for Sanneh in May for the murder of the suspected coup plotters. Sanneh, a lieutenant had absconded after deserting Jammeh during a UN summit and had since lived in New Jersey.
Jammeh’s government had reported that Mr. Marenah, Manlafi Corr, Ebou Lowe, Alieu Ceesay, Alpha Bah and Masirah Jammeh escaped when they were being transported from a maximum security prison outside the capital to an island prison in central Gambian region of Janjangbureh.
Investigators say they were shot then dumped inside an old well in Bulloborr village in southern Gambia. Police have uncovered the deaths of tens of citizens, including two missing Americans in the hands of Jammeh’s men. Jammeh’s government repeatedly denied having them.
Jammeh’s regime stands accused of human rights violation, including the killing of his perceived enemies and political opponents. He ruled the Gambia with an iron fist and ruthlessly suppressed any dissent to his regime.