Accused of having informed Sonko of an infiltration in his team, how was this gendarme removed?

In an interview granted to our colleagues at Seneweb consulted by Senego, Yancoba Oussène Djiba Mary, former member of the Senegal National Gendarmerie, was officially removed from the ranks on January 29, 2024. Before this removal, he served in the squadron of 12/2 surveillance and intervention in Ziguinchor. His accusations and the procedure which led to his dismissal raise many questions about the management of information and accusations within the armed forces, especially in a politically tense context. Yancoba was accused of providing information to Ousmane Sonko, then in opposition, who has since become prime minister.

Djiba describes the origin of his problems during the “freedom caravan” of Sonko starting with an accusation of complicity in the theft of a weapon: “On May 30, 2023, around 6 a.m., we were supposed to go on a mission to Bignona. Along the way, at the entrance to Tobor, my phone kept ringing. But, I didn’t answer the calls because I’m a shooter. I was on the 12-7. My head of mission, who is a senior student, ordered me to respond in order to find out if there was no emergency. And he was right. It was my father who told me of the death of my older sister. I reported to my boss and he asked me if I could continue the mission, I told him yes. Arriving in Ziguinchor, he told me that he had already reported to the squadron leader so that he could pass the information on to the authorities. » Following this, a series of misunderstandings and false accusations led to him being recalled from his sister’s funeral to face unjustified accusations of complicity in the theft of his commanding officer’s pistol.

The situation worsened when his superiors accused him of communicating with a thief during the theft of the weapon. “The captain told me at the time his son was playing with the gun in the yard, a gendarme took the PA and during this time I was in communication with the thief. I told him it wasn’t possible. I did not communicate with any police. Apart from people calling me to offer their condolences, I have not received any other calls from my fellow gendarmes. Even my classmates haven’t contacted me. So I denied the facts”he explained.

The accusation extended to an alleged communication with Ousmane Sonko, based on a message allegedly sent by Djiba. This accusation was made without tangible evidence and was based on claims that Djiba had informed Sonko of an infiltration into his team, which was proven inconsistent during subsequent investigations.

At the board of inquiry on December 7, 2023, Djiba faced a contradictory report that did not substantiate the accusations against him, but despite this, he was disbarred. “On December 7, 2023, I was informed of the board of inquiry the next day (December 8). I refused to go there. I told the captain that he had to inform me in time. The captain reported to the major. They postponed the council until December 20. On December 18, they asked me to go to the secretariat to collect my travel ticket. I asked the secretary to send it on whatsapp. Because I was already on my way to Dakar. Arriving on site, the investigative council presented me with the same report held by the Ziguinchor research brigade. I asked them to check if it really is a capture. They tried. They saw that it is not the same thing. I told them that that day I was on the ground with the 5th battalion. They said I was located at the camp. I told them it was false. I was the shooter on the armored vehicle in front of Sonko’s house. I told them that what my unit commander told me is contrary to what they are saying. At first, he spoke of complicity in PA theft. Now he makes the link with Ousmane Sonko. Council members said they were simply given the report. They asked me if I had assigned a superior officer for my defense. I told them that I didn’t know any gendarmes in Dakar. This is how they decided to write me off,” did he declare.

Yancoba Djiba also mentioned a call received from MP Guy Marius Sagna which exacerbated his situation, leading to additional detention sentences under false pretexts. “Colonel MM sent me to jail again for 30 days without reason. General PD added 35 days. Because quite simply, Guy Marius Sagna called me to tell me that my uncle Pierre Simon Diedhiou spoke to him about my situation. He asked me to explain to him what happened. Afterwards, he asked me to be wary and that things would change. He showed me his support”he confided.

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