Court remands 23 over Koina clash

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Magistrate Omar Jabang of Basse Magistrates’ Court in the Upper River Region, Tuesday morning ordered that 23 men from Koina village who were involved in the caste fight between the so-called slaves and nobles on Saturday to be remanded at the Jangjanbureh prison.

Twenty-two of them are charged on two counts of assault causing bodily harm and arson while one person is separately charged with incitement of violence. The magistrate ordered for them to be remanded until 17th June when the case will resume.

The Saturday Koina caste fiasco led to an immediate arrest of eleven men while ten others sustained injuries in the Upper River Region Kantora village.

The incident, which is reported to have sparked a wave of panic in the region, saw a colossal destruction of properties in a violent protest by the two groups of angry natives of Koina. The arrested persons are: Bangal Gumaneh, Salifu Jaiteh, Saikou Gumaneh, Banta Gumaneh, Hagie Jabbi, Ousman Gumaneh, Bakary Gumaneh, Jafara Gumaneh, Balla Kanuteh, Bangal Kanuteh and Abdou Gumaneh. They are currently being detained at the Fatoto Police station as investigation into the matter continues.

The brawl was reported to have started when one Muhammed Krubally tied a headscarf with the writing ‘Gambana’ on it; which means “we are all equals” in the Sarahulleh language. Our source said Mr. Krubally went to pray Ishar prayers at the community Mosque while he wore the scarf and immediately as he entered the Mosque, he was gripped and tied-up by the accused persons and taken to one Essa Gumaneh’s compound.

Our source further added that it was the security personnel in Fatoto who rescued Mr. Krubally. “When they arrived at Koina, stones were coming from both left and right. In fact, they had to call for reinforcement in order to put the situation under control. Krubally was rescued and rushed to Koina Health Centre for medical attention.”

Our reporter was reliably informed that some of the accused persons were asking Mr. Krubally whether he would like to be called ‘slave’ while taking video of him, and others were suggesting that he should be killed.

The arrested persons were reported to have burnt to ashes a compound belonging to one Muhammed Sanneh while others had their fences broken down. The victims are Lasana Gumbel, Jambala Kanuteh, Essa Jarra, Essa Fofana, Hagie Fofana, Jombol Camara, Sembala Conteh, Salifu Touray, Bangal Touray, Abdou Gumaneh and Dembo Touray. 

Author: Momodou Jawo