Gambian Soldier Commits A Mysterious Suicide

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A somewhat bizarre news was reported on the Daily Observer today about the suicide of a serving Gambian infantry soldier. Lance Corporal Matarr Ceesay is reported to have killed himself by hanging and setting himself on fire. We reproduce below the article:

A 29-year-old man believed to be an infantry soldier in The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) was last Thursday found dead in a bush near Basore, West Coast Region, after he reportedly hanged and set himself on fire.

Family sources have told the Daily Observer over the weekend that the deceased, Matarr Cessay, a native of Brikama, was enlisted into GAF in 2006 and attached to the Farafenni Military Barracks.

Until his death, the late Cessay was a lance corporal who had in 2008, participated in a peacekeeping mission in the restive Sudanese region of Darfur. Prior to his death, he was reported to have gone missing until his body was discovered in the bush where he committed the suicide a week later.

Family members who spoke to the Daily Observer in Brikama recalled that Ceesay left the compound early morning at around 6am on Thursday, 21st November 2013 and his whereabouts had not been established until when his body was found in the said bush.
“We got the information on Friday, 29th November, 2013 that the police found a dead body in a bush near Basore village. We then rushed to the police station to enquire about it, but only to shockingly realise through his sim card contact list that he is the missing brother we have been searching, Due to the nature of his body, we could not see him because the police quickly buried him on the site,” one of them told the Daily Observer at the family residence in Brikama.

A brother to the deceased, Yaya Ceesay, told the Daily Observer they still can’t ascertain what might have compelled the late Ceesay to commit suicide, but was quick to indicate that investigations are still ongoing.

They described the deceased as a young man with dignity and respect, who had contributed immensely towards the development of his family.

“Some people are with the opinion that he was mentally ill but that is not true. What is certain is that he did complain of body ache and we took him to so many doctors, but unfortunately they could not detect any sickness,” his mother, Fatou Bah-Ceesay, also told the Daily Observer.

Author: by Modou Lamin Jammeh.