Food and Nutrition Association (GAFNA) and partners have recently conducted a
day long sensitisation caravan on peace building and reconciliation in five Foni
The sensitisation caravan is funded by the Embassy of the United Sates of American in Banjul through the Julia Taft refugee fund and jointly implement by GAFNA, Saint Joseph’s Family Farm, West Coast Region Inter Party Committee, Nova Scotia Gambia Association and the Refugees Soforai Association.
Sensitisations were animated through drama performance depicting the various types of conflict and mitigation measures.
GAFNA executive director, Yusupha Gomez said the communities targeted were Bajana, Somita, Sibanor, Bwiam and Kanfenda, saying after the 2016 Presidential and 2017 National Assembly elections there have been some suspicion between some tribes and supporters of political parties.
He said this has caused some internal conflicts nationwide particularly in Foni communities where majority of the refugees reside. He explained there have been some reported cases where households including refugees move temporarily for fear of attacks or reprisal.
He further said that the main aim of the sensitiswation caravan was to bring lasting peace, security and development in the communities.
West Coast Region Inter-party chairman, Bakary Saibo Sanneh of the APRC told the audience to emulate members of the committee and to abide by the advises of their party leaders whose desires is to see a peaceful Gambia where all ethnic groups live in cohesion and harmony. He stressed the need for people to unite, forget their political differences and work for the development of the country.
In Sibanor, Mariama Jammeh of Foni Kandunku and Jakonba Jaiteh of Sibanor both commended GAFNA for the initiative while urging the inter party committee members to work hard to bring lasting peace and unity. According to them, Foni is the most affected area divided by politic. They said there are people in Foni who are neither talking to each other nor attending each other’s ceremony and programmes because of politic.
Lamin Sanyang of Batabutu stressed the need for the social media to be controlled, saying it has created more harm than good. The social media he added is dividing people and destroying the country. He also said the radio station presenters should be ethical enough and they should preach peace and reconciliation rather than dividing people while citing the Ruwanda genocide as caused by the media.
Imam of Sibanor, Lamin Jammeh said politics is a development tool and Islam calls for peace, while challenging Muslims to go by the teachings of the Qu’ran as well as love one another, care and share and be reminded the hereafter.
Chief of Foni Bintang Karanai, Momodou Lamin Jorbateh urged people to forget and forgive one another, saying, “Allah is testing us. For me I was a victim, my compound was attacked and destroyed but I have forgiven. So please let us forgive each other.”