Senegalese forestry officers released, Gambian taken in custody

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The three Senegalese forestry officers apprehended by the youths of Sare Jawbeh village in the Jimara District of the Upper River Region (URR) have been released, The Point has learned.

Meanwhile one Zakaria Mballow, a youth at one of villages in the Jimara District who was arrested by the Senegalese forestry officers has been held hostage by the Senegalese authorities, our sources said.

According to our sources pointed out that the Senegalese authorities have refused to release the boy despite the release of their forestry officers.

Mballow is currently being detained at Madina Yerro Fula, in the southern region of Casamance. Our sources in URR added that the parents of the boy visited the Senegalese authorities at Madina Yerro Fula to negotiate his release.

The people who spoke to our reporter on the condition of anonymity condemned the release by The Gambian authorities the Senegalese forestry officers.

“This is totally unacceptable. I believe if the Senegalese people should be released, then the Gambians authorities should have negotiated for the release of our boy,” one person familiar with the matter said.

Our sources further stated that when the news of the arrest of the Senegalese forestry officers reached the police high command in Banjul, a team was dispatch to Basse.

“The team from Banjul negotiated for the release of the Senegalese forestry officers. The Forestry officers assured them that when they are released, they will also facilitate the release of the Gambian boy who is held hostage by their authorities. And when they were released; and contacted their authorities at Madina Yerro Fula, they refused to release the boy.”

Our reporter has been informed that the team from Banjul was only able to lay hands on the gun that the Senegalese used to fire.

When contacted the National Assembly Member of Jimara District, Alhagie H. Sowe described the incident as unfortunate. Hon. Sowe pointed out that the forestry officers should not have been released without securing the release of the Gambian boy.

Author: Momodou Jawo