The Tolerant Gambia that some People Doubts its Tolerance

Since the end of 22 years of dictatorship in the Gambia in December 2016, so many political and social issues which were tabooed then had now been widely debated both on and offline, in and outside the Gambia. Although some of the debates are conducted in a very civilised manner some not so civilised. This includes the recent Land dispute between the people specifically the Manjago community of Taneneh village, Kombo South, and a businessman Mr Seedy Barrow. The dispute stemmed from a plot of land which both parties claimed ownership. This is not the first time for a land dispute to occur between people and or communities in the Gambia. However, what made this one a unique case is mainly two factors, one of which is because it involved a minority tribe called Manjagoes who are mainly Christians secondly the Manjagoes claimed to have been using the disputed land as a cemetery for years and on the other hand, Seedy is claiming to be the rightful owner with right documentation to prove his claim. Continue reading

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Independent Inquiry into the Faraba Banta killings by paramilitary police Led by Emmanuel Joof

Adama Barrow President of the Republic of The Gambia

Following the protests and subsequent killings of three protesters in Faraba Banta, West Coast Region, by the Gambia armed paramilitary forces, President Adama Barrow has with immediate effect commissioned an Independent Inquiry to investigate the circumstances that led to the deaths in the Faraba protests.

The membership consists of the following individuals and institutions:

  1. Emmanuel Joof, a renown Human rights Lawyer as the Chairperson
  2. A representative of the Ministry of Justice

  3. A representative of the Gambia Bar Association

  4. A representative of the Gambia Armed Forces

  5. A representative of the of the State Intelligence Services

  6. A Representative of Civil society from the Association of Non-Governmental Organizations – TANGO

Taking into account the need for a speedy dispensation of justice and accountability, the Committee starts work with immediate effect and has a duration of one month to submit a comprehensive report to His Excellency, the President of the Republic.

The Inquiry has been mandated to:

  1. Investigate the circumstances leading to the standoff between the villagers of Faraba Bantang and the Police Intervention Unit
  2. Investigate the circumstances that led to the injuries and fatalities in Faraba Bantang and identify those responsible for the deaths, including those who may have ordered the firings and those who fired the shots
  3. Recommend measures to prevent a recurrence of the circumstances that led to the stand-off in Faraba Bantang
  4. Recommend measures to prevent an occurrence of the incident in Faraba Bantang and other parts of the country

Additionally, the President has given approval for the appointment of a Coroner to investigate the cause of the deaths as per the Coroners Act, Cap 7.04, Vol. 2 Laws of The Gambia. The Coroner will work with a pathologist to establish the facts before the corpses are released to their families.

This is a welcome news that will reassure the victims and their families of justice. The chairman of the commission is a well respected amongst his peers and hopefully, the commission will leave no stone unturned so that it will serve as a lesson to avoid a repeat of such heinous crimes.

When Will Adama Barrow be Man Enough to Lead or be Led? Amidst the Killing of 3 People in Faraba

Wounded protester from Faraba Banta

The peace and tranquillity the Gambia is known for is once again threatened with the violence scenes and the killing of three (3) protesters and wounding of dozens more in Faraba Bantang Village, West Coast Region on Monday 18 June 2018. The two protesters were shot dead when police opened fire on them which resulted in the deaths of Bakary Kujabi, aka Seffo, and Ismaila Bah and the third person died from his wounds at the hospital.

The incident occurred in the wake of refusal by villagers to accept ‘Julakay’ Company mining sand in their lands before the National Assembly’s Select Committee complete their investigations and make final recommendations to Government. Faraba residents who indicated that the National Assembly Select Committee on the Environment who visited them less than two weeks ago, did not complete their investigations and final report to Government. To the surprised of the residence, the company ’Julakay’ however, proceeded to advertised and re- commence sand mining in Faraba.

Meanwhile, the failure of Barrow ’s government to foresee this problem before it arrives is pure ineptitude and perhaps lack of leadership. We have seen what happened in Farato, Kanilai, Wuli, Busumbala and Gunjur as a result government should have foreseen this problem coming and follow the recommendations of the National Assembly Select Committee on Environment which basically is to stop the company from mining until a settlement is reached.

The main reason why Gambia-ns has decided to vote out Yahya Jammeh was his repression and killings of people and if Barrow should oversee a government that repeat the same killings we will immediately get him out and put someone who is capable of leading Gambians without killing them. In moments of crisis people look up to their leaders for reassurance, care and leadership, however, since Barrow took over, he has always been hiding in moments like this. It is all well and good for Barrow to delegate responsibility, but you don’t delegate in an emergency you take ownership and lead by example, which he still failed to do.

As promised, Gambians want swift actions not only against the arrested PIU officers but the company Julakay as well as the head of Police and the Interior Minister. Because this is a failure of leadership and all those people have failed in their duties of care to the people they are to protect as well as to follow the orders of the NA Select Committee. Since the incident, both the Inspector General of Police and the Interior Minister were playing the blame game and if they are not ready to take responsibility and resign, then Barrow should fire them both or Barrow himself gets fired. Because it’s under their watch three innocent lives were lost

Mr President: Is it Business as Usual or Business not unusual?

 

Dear Mr President Adama Barrow,

Congratulations on your one year as the 3rd president of the Republic of the Gambia. It was hard and confrontational, however, with a will, determination and togetherness we were able to defeat one of the cruelest regimes Africa ever had. Mr President, just as you highlighted in your recent interviews with the various media and press houses in the country, it will require a great deal of patience, dedication and hard work for the country to emerge from the 22 years of dictatorship and one-man rule. However, I think in order for us to emerge as the world’s envy and move forward as a country, we ought to look back and ask ourselves serious questions. Among those questions are why and how do we end up being ruled by one person for 22 years? And in the answers, you will find that Jammeh had his and the country’s priorities misplaced. Continue reading