BANJUL (Reuters) – A Gambian court has issued international arrest warrants for two ex-soldiers suspected of murdering a journalist during the rule of former president Yahya Jammeh, who fled into exile in January after 22 years of power marred by alleged human rights abuses.
Banjul Magistrates Court issued the warrants for former Colonel Kawsu Camara and Major Sanna Manjang late on Thursday, said principal magistrate Isatou Janneh-Njie.
Both suspects are thought to have been members of Jammeh’s alleged assassination squad known as the “junglers”.
The warrants are part of attempts by authorities under new President Adama Barrow to redress abuses under Jammeh, who lost an election in December but initially refused to step down.
West African troops entered the country to pressure him to leave power.
Veteran reporter Deyda Hydara was a critic of the government and co-owner of the independent newspaper The Point. He was shot dead in his car in 2004 and the murder was never explained.
Hydara for three decades also worked as a correspondent for Agence France-Presse and Reporters without Borders.
Police spokesman Foday Conta said on Friday the two suspects were not currently in Gambia, adding: “The warrant is to order their arrest anywhere they may be.”
Jammeh now lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea. One of his ex-officials was arrested in Senegal earlier this year.
Some Gambians whose family members suffered from alleged crimes during Jammeh’s long rule have expressed frustration with what they see as a very slow justice system.
(Reporting by Lamin Jahateh; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Gareth Jones)