of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) have reportedly shot two men dead in
Faraba Bantang village, with nine others injured as the community clashed with
law enforcers on Monday morning.
The victims: Bakary Kujabi and Ismalie Bah died on the spot. Amadou Nyang-Jawo, a final year student at The Gambia College, who is also doing his practical teaching at Faraba Lower Basic School was hospitalised at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul.
Masanneh Njie, Salaman Darboe, Jalaman Darboe, Pa Jammeh, Sainey Sonko, Sheriffo Touray, Dawda Daffeh, Buba Sanyang and Francis Jambang were all reportedly injured and were rushed to the Brikama Major Hospital for treatment.
Five trucks that were loading the sand in the mining area were burnt to ashes by the angry Faraba youths including two caterpillars. The angry youths were also seen targeting compound belonging to Bo Jarju, Ba Jambang Sanyang, and Bakary Saidy and Nuha Kujabi among others, removing their house materials and burning them to ashes and damaging their houses.
According to the youths, those targeted are the people that signed the contract with Julakey Company – a sand mining company without the consultation of the village VDC and stakeholders.
Eyewitnesses to the incident said one Alieu Camara, a PIU personnel and a native of Brikama New Town was the person that fired life bullets. Some PIU personnel equally sustained injuries during the clash, eyewitnesses say.
The director of press and public relations officer of the Office of the President, Amie Bojang-Sissoho on her Facebook account named the wounded PIU officers as Modou Dem, Alieu Camara and Momodou Jallow.
Mustapha Camara, a youth leader from Faraba Bantang village and also an eyewitness to the incident, who spoke to our reporter in tears, condemned the killing of innocent and unarmed youths by the PIU personnel.
He thus called on government to launch an immediate investigation into to the matter with a view to averting future bloodshed.
The incident, he said, started when the people of Faraba discovered that there were trucks at the sand mining site smuggling the sand without informing the villagers; following an earlier decision being reached by the National Assembly Select Committee on Environment that Julakey Company should cease operation pending the outcome of their investigation.
“However, to our surprise, early morning on Monday, we realised that some trucks were coming to the mining area and loading their trucks with sand. We decided to mobilise ourselves and sat on the roads unarmed in order to block the trucks from taking the sands.”
Mr. Camara explained that they were standing with the PIU personnel who are guiding the sand mining area with no confrontation, saying within an hour time, they saw a full truck and a pick-up of PIU personnel.
“When they arrived at the scene, they fired two warning shots but we did not disperse and they later started using life bullets and tear gasses on us. One of the PIU officer told me that if I didn’t move, he would killed me. We want to know who ordered the shooting of unarmed youths,” he said.
The chairman of the United Democratic Party (UDP) of Faraba, Bakary Sanyang, also condemned in strongest terms the killing of unarmed youths.