Thu | Oct 18, 2018

Did Tivoli gunmen just disappear?

Published:Saturday | February 21, 2015 | 12:00 AM


On Thursday, at the end of the day's activities, the commissioner in charge of the Tivoli enquiry admitted to being confused about one aspect of the testimony. This was the area of his concern: If, as is claimed, 300 gunmen came into Tivoli to assist Dudus in fighting the security forces, and 76 persons were killed in that battle, assuming that the dead were all gunmen, what happened to the other 264 gunmen? He was generous enough to give them until the following day to provide answers.

Permit me to ask four more questions. And I am prepared to give them until the end of the enquiry to provide the answers:

1. Since Dudus does not reside in Tivoli Gardens, and since Tivoli is well known to the security forces, is a small space geographically, and extremely easy to surround, why would Dudus place himself in such a spot that would swiftly and certainly end in his capture or worse?

2. Decades ago, politicians and security personnel announced that there were getaway tunnels found in Tivoli Gardens. These turned out to be drains built before Tivoli was conceived, as part of the construction of the city. This is one excuse given to explain how Dudus could have 'escaped'. Why, since the security knew of these 'tunnels', did they not include the monitoring of these tunnels as part of the elaborate strategy we are being told about?

3. We are being shown some bottles with some crude wicks - about eight of them - and told that this was part of the arsenal that these gunmen were going to use to repel our well-armed combined security forces numbering in the thousands. Is the country expected to take this testimony seriously?

4. Was the aerial surveillance provided by the US - the country with the most sophisticated surveillance system in the world - unable to indicate where these hundreds of gunmen went? Not even the general direction?

If I cannot get answers, I am prepared to settle for a decent excuse.

I really think it is full time the security forces accept what the rest of the country knew days before the incursion - that Dudus was already long gone.


Stony Hill, St Andrew