4 injured as APRC, Busumbala residents clashed

Friday, January 12, 2018

At least four people have been reported injured as supporters of the opposition Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) clashed with residents of Busumbala village on Thursday morning in the West Coast Region.

There was massive damage to properties. Parties involved in the violence were armed with cutlasses among other weapons, eyewitnesses say. Vehicles had their windscreens smashed into pieces.

The four injured people were referred to Brikama Hospital at the time of going to press, however, one among them was later referred to Edward Francis Small Teaching hospital in Banjul in the evening due to the gravity of his wound. Some eyewitnesses at the incident say it is beyond politic as they related it to tribal connotation.

Six youths of Busumbala were arrested during the incident by personnel of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU), however, they were later released, The Point has been informed.

Traffic was put to halt as some angry youths were seen throwing stones and burning motor tyres on the road. Shopkeepers within the main Birkama-Serrekunda Highway were forced to close their shops due to the magnitude of incident.

PIU personnel used tear-gases to the unruly youths in order to disperse them. Some youths were also hunting vehicles looking for people that were APRC T-shirts and insults were raining from all over the place.

The director general of the State Intelligent Services (SIS), the commander of the ECOMIG Forces in The Gambia, the deputy Inspector General of Police, the deputy Chief of Defense Staff including the national security adviser were all seen at the scene.

Speaking to reporters at Busumbala, the national security adviser Office of the President, Momodou Badgie describe the incident as “unfortunate” in the sense that the new dispensation has found lots of issue on the ground.

“We are working tirelessly, and I am sure, such kind of incidents will never occur again. It is an internal security matter and political for that matter. Investigation is ongoing currently as I am speaking to you. We don’t want to say so much as the investigation is going,” he stated.

Badgie added that President Barrow together with the National Security Council are so much concern about the incident. “We don’t think the New Gambia needs no political fracas. What we need is democracy where all political players will have space to do everything with freedom and liberty. Democracy is all about that and anything that is violence will be dealt with accordingly and the only way it can be dealt with is to start investigation and all those culprits should be dealt with according to the law,” he posited.

The national security adviser Office of the President, added that no stone will be left unturned. “Those that are wounded have been taken to hospital, thus it is additional clear evidence. He made it clear, saying “we are we are going to court straight but there are stages and steps that will be taken to ensure that we solve this matter amicably,” he stated.

The deputy CDS Yankuba Drammeh, said the peace and tranquility that the country is known for in Africa and beyond should be maintained. He added that conflict provokes and unprovoked.

He said once conflict escalates, everyone directly or indirectly will fall a victim of that conflict. In order words it is in our collective interest to preserve the peace and tranquility of the country. “If we allow conflict to creep in, virtually everybody is a loser directly or indirectly,” he said. “So we should work towards maintaining the peace and tranquility of this country irrespective of our political affiliations among others.”

The commander of the ECOMIG Forces in The Gambia, Maget Njie also described the Busumbala incident as ‘unfortunate’. The democracy in The Gambia, he added, is at advanced stage, noting that few people should not come and destroy what all Gambian fought for.

“We will redouble our efforts in ensuring peace and stability continue in The Gambia,” he said. “We need concerted effort to ensure that peace prevails. Each and everyone one of us needs to talk to his relatives on the significance of peace.”   

Author: Momodou Jawo