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OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA

Updated: Mar 21

OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA (our homeland)


19th March 2021

Your Excellency – The President of the Republic of the Gambia H.E Adama Barrow, I would like to take this opportune moment to draw your attention to the Post Conflict Situation at Sanyang - Kombo South District. The People of SANYANG Village and Kombo South are still in mourning of their beloved Son - Gibril Ceesay who was gruesomely murdered by a foreigner at his own residence. The situation at Sanyang requires a careful study and critical analysis of the circumstances because there are several factors responsible to this unfortunate crisis, and these underlying factors are still there including Kartong, Gunjur and Tanji.


Although, it is not appropriate at this material time to delve in to these circumstances or underlying conditions as we mourn over this immeasurable and irreparable loss. At this moment, we expect a healing and consoling process . There were huge losses from various parties viz the people of Sanyang, the Senegalese Fishermen, the Government and other businesses. Of course it may be difficult to quantify the losses or damages to properties, however the loss to the people of Sanyang is significantly immeasurable and irreparable. The plight of all these parties can be looked into for a possible confidence building, reparation and reconciliation in order to maintain and sustain the peaceful coexistence of the people. Your Excellency, the arrest and detention of the Sanyang Youths is not a wise measure at this point in time. This arresting and detaining cannot be a remedy or solution to this crisis but It will undoubtedly undermine and deter our peace building and reconciliation efforts. Your Excellency, I would like to remind you that our Country is heading to Elections , therefore we would want peace to reign throughout our communities in kombo South. The arrests of our Youths will further sour our relations, escalate anger, tension and rekindle another violent conflict.


Your Excellency, I hereby suggest and encourage an immediate call for dialogue of all the Stakeholders including all the local authorities in Kombo South. The event at Sanyang is just the tip of the iceberg considering that the factors that trigger this conflict still exist at Kartong, Gunjur and Tanji. As a Concerned local authority, I hereby appeal to you – Your Excellency to release all the detained Youths from Sanyang and go to the table for dialogue. In a post Conflict Situation especially in a local community, dialogue is key and fundamental in order to maintain and sustain peace. The people of Sanyang and Kombo South have lived with Senegalese Fishermen for decades without such conflicts but it is so unfortunate and regretful that this has happened in this way and manner. I stand to join the local authorities of Sanyang including their VDC to work towards peace building. This has happened, and I believe that we have all learnt lessons after stock taking. The arrests and detentions will not scare anyone but instead it will aggravate and rekindle tension, hatred and disunity because there may be finger pointing here and there.


Your Excellency, the other important thing that I would like you to take stock, in my opinion is that – the factors or conditions that trigger this crisis at Sanyang are quite evident at Kartong, Gunjur and Tanji. These underlying factors are the causes of this violent conflict, and these issues could only be discussed at a Stakeholders dialogue . We have to collectively handle this situation with due diligence, otherwise it can backfire. So dialogue is very important and timely in order to heal , console and reconcile.


Your Excellency, it is evident that Kombo South is the most populous constituency in the Gambia. With the coming of the numerous Chinese Fish meals in our Coastal Villages, many undocumented foreign youths came to explore opportunities but their presence has risen the crime rate, theft, burglary and armed robbery. These concerns have been raised and communicated to the late IGP (RIP) that Kombo South police stations need mobility and enough personnel to effectively and efficiently police these fish landing sites. We need the security for the protection of life and properties. There were huge losses including loss of life which is irreparable. However, for the interest of peace and reconciliation, I appeal to you once again - Your Excellency to consider the immediate release of everyone ,and get the duty bearers to a round table for more dialogue. Damages have already been done, so what is more important now is – what we should collectively do to avoid a similar situation. I hope and pray for peace to reign in our beautiful friendly community of Sanyang.


Once again , I thank you – Your Excellency for your attention, and it is my hope that this appeal will be given due consideration. May the Youths get back to their families as quickly as possible.


Respectfully yours,


Hon Momodou charreh Gibba

Councillor, Gunjur Ward.


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