Monday, June 25, 2018

Mr. President, as the country is mourning the recent incident at Faraba village wherein the PIU clashed with the youths of Faraba village leaving three youths dead and several injured including police officers, we wish to extend our condolences to the families of the victims and are at the same time calling for peace and calm amongst all the youths in the county.

Mr. President, this is really a very difficult and regrettable moment in the country but we all have to understand that “The Gambia is our homeland, we strive and work and pray that all may live in unity, freedom and peace each day. Let justice guide our actions towards the common good.”- National Anthem.

We are appealing to all youths to refrain from public demonstrations, destruction and burning of houses, vehicles and tyres and also reminding the PIU that their duty is to protect everybody residing in the country and not to take lives without sufficient legal ground. Let’s all develop the attitude of dialogue and not violence.

Mr. President, It was very wrong for the PIU to use live ammunition on the civilian protesters. They could have used rubber bullets instead. The youths on the other hand should not have burnt properties of people. Gambians are known to be peaceful and not violent. Any issue or misunderstanding should be solved amicably. Gone are the days of Jammeh era where killing was rampant.

Mr. President, we advise that those with serious injuries are sent to those countries that can treat them and families of the victims compensated.

The government should also liaise with the community leaders before issuing mining licence to companies to avoid recurrence of such incident. The mining licence of Julakay should be revoked till an agreement is reached.

Mr. President, it was indeed a good move by you to visit the community of Faraba last Friday and even perform your Friday prayer with them just to show solidarity and sympathize with the families of the victims. The setting up of a commission to look into the issues surrounding the Faraba incident and the arresting of suspected culprits that shot on that fateful day are all signs of your government’s readiness to promote human rights, democracy, justice and the rule of law.

Mr. President, your government should learn lessons from this incident and look into all issues of land disputes, border demarcation issues, issues with fishing factories, sand mining issues all over the country and give them great attention. The ministries and authorities responsible should work hand in gloves with the communities to put an end to such issues once and for all to avoid future altercations. Your government should not wait till issues get out of hand before actions are taken. Such issues only need dialogue and understanding than leave them till they reach an uncontrollable stage.

Mr. President, it’s time that your government set criteria in appointing ambassadors and top government officials to avert future diplomatic blunder(s) as in the case of Morocco.

Ambassadors and top government officials should be exemplary and not to be violent. Besides academic qualifications, personal characters should also be considered. They are expected to be professional, disciplined, tolerant, and law abiding in executing their duties and report any irregularities of staffs than taking the law into their own hands especially in a foreign land.

Finally, Mr. President, we are waiting on your government and the authorities responsible to bringing the culprits of the Faraba incident to court and let justice be served.

Good Day!