Ex-soldier shot at Kanilai

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Former Lance Corporal Ismalie Tamba, a native of Kanilai in Foni Kansala of the West Coast Region was reportedly shot by personnel of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) on Sunday after a brief squabble with soldiers at a military checkpoint at Kanilai, the home village of former President Yahya Jammeh.

More than nine soldiers have been taken to custody by personnel of the military police in connection with the incident while investigation continues.

Tamba was shot in his back. He was rushed to Bwiam Hospital but later referred to Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul for medical attention.

The spokesperson of the GAF has confirmed the development to The Point. “At the moment what I can tell you is that about 10 personnel of the GAF have been taken to custody by members of the military police. The matter is currently under investigation and we will update you in terms of any development,” he said.

A source that spoke to our reporter on the condition of anonymity described the shooting of the unarmed civilian as ‘unacceptable’ and called for immediate investigation into the matter with a view to unearthing the circumstances surrounding the incident.

“I see no reason why a trained military officer will shoot an unarmed civilian who in fact poses no threat. We have been undergoing lot of intimidation since the change of government. We have been patient but I’m telling you that enough is enough,” he told our reporter.

The victim, our source went on was driving through the military checkpoint with his passengers from Brikama. “His vehicle checked by the soldiers on duties and was allowed to pass. When he dropped the passengers, he decided to make a U-turn back to Brikama. But this time, he attempted to pass the checkpoint without stopping and the soldiers on duty urged him to stop.”

According to our source, he was interrogated over his attempt to pass the checkpoint without stopping and equally urged to drive back to the checkpoint.

“Tamba told the duty soldiers to allow him park well off the road. He also told the soldiers that he was thinking that he had just passed through military checkpoint to drop his passengers and that there was no need for second stop.

According to our source, Tamba was shot while parking his vehicle. Our source added that the people of Kanilai are demanding justice over the matter.

“If the soldiers on duties feel that Tamba breaks the law, let them arrest him and allow the law to take its course rather than shooting him.”

Recall: In 2017, members of the ECOMIG Forces that were stationed in Kanilai shot Haruna Jatta, a 54 year old man.

Author: Momodou Jawo