Kebba Nyancho Sanneh, the Principal Public Relations Officer (PPRO) at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) has confirmed that 40 unidentified bodies at the Banjul Mortuary will all be buried.
He added that the corpses will be buried separately and will be done soon with a public notification.
These unidentified corpses have been lying at the Banjul Mortuary since the time of former President Jammeh.
Speaking to The Point in an interview, Mr. Sanneh noted that the Gambian Constitution does not allow mass burial.
Mr. Sanneh’s comments followed a controversial video that was making rounds on social media in which a lady claimed that a staff of the hospital had shown her a 40-feet container stationed at the Death House containing over 40 unidentified dead bodies – something the hospital did not deny.
Mr. Sanneh said most of the dead bodies that came to the hospital were escorted by the police and that “it’s the responsibility of the police to identify those bodies so that they could be buried.”
Mr. Sanneh said people should understand that the hospital is not responsible for burying the corpse. “They can only keep them at the mortuary.”
According to him, they were given a go-ahead for the mass burial of those corpses but the management of the hospital had a stakeholders meeting in which “we were made to understand that the Gambian Constitution does not allow mass burial.”
PRO Sanneh indicated that they intended to do the fingerprint for all those corpses in order to identify them but that did not happen because of the condition of the corpse.
He added that both Muslim and Christian communities will be present during the burial and they will perform prayers for the corpses.
PRO Sanneh said the institutions are governed by the rule of law and that those regulations cannot be passed in one’s favour.
“We believe that those bodies have not interfered with our jobs because our service delivery system has not been interrupted by those corpses at the mortuary.”