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Public Outcry Over Rising Murder, Rape Incidents

Aug 12, 2008, 6:11 AM | Article By: By Baboucarr Senghore

Recent reports of gruesome murders and rape in The Gambia have triggered off public outcry against the worrisome trend n the country.

The spate of murders and rapes in the country has led the public to call on President Yahya Jammeh to set an example with at least one of the culprits so as to deter others.

Well, what exactly is responsible for such inhuman acts and the way forward was the question our reporter put on to the general public in this opinion poll carried out yesterday.

According to one Abubacarr Camara, a veteran scholar in Tabokoto, the situation that the country is currently facing is foreign and the only solution to it is for Gambians and Africans in general to take ownership of what belongs to them and leave the rest with its rightful owners.

"Our behaviour in this present generation does not match in any form with those of our ancestors. So we are taking ownership of lives that do not belong to us and such lives will only mislead us," he said.

For one Musukuta Badjie, the increasing rate of rape cases in this country is an embarrassment to the state and unless the government takes urgent action, the situation will be on the increase.

"Every now and then you hear about rape cases and in many circumstances it involves very young girls of even five years. I think there is a problem and the only solution is for the law to take its full course," she fumed.

"I believe such inhuman and unwarranted acts will soon be a thing of the past if the recent strong words of President Jammeh about rape and murder in this country are anything to go by. The President was recently quoted as saying that he will set an example of those engaged in such acts and this is no doubt a welcome move because it would not have come at a better time than now," said one Alhagie Marong of Old Jeshwang.

In the view of one Isatou Jasseh of Kanifing Estate, unless and until government takes stern action, the situation will be discussed over and over at roof tops but nothing will come out of it. "Government should be seen doing something regarding this issue. Culprits should not be left to go free like that. If you murder somebody, you should be murdered and if you rape, you should be sent to jail. This is as simple as that," she said.

According to a resident of Bakau who wants to remain anonymous, a lot of sensitisation needs to be done to sensitise our youth, who in his view engage in such acts, as to the dangers of murder and rape. "We should also as elders in society learn to discipline our children. Lack of discipline is also a major cause of such terrible incidents. I think if every parent takes the initial responsibility to discipline his or her child at home, then we will not today be talking about these matters.

"Government is doing all it can to create job opportunities for our youth and it is now left to them to make best use of those opportunities rather than involve in criminal activities," he asserted.

"Hardly a week or two goes by without reading or hearing about rape or murder cases in this small country. But what is the problem? This I believe each and every Gambian has to ask himself or herself. Gone are the days when young people will listen to the advice of their parents and this is one of the many reasons responsible for these criminal and barbaric acts. We have to look at ourselves very well before blaming anybody for such acts," said one Omar Saidykhan of Dippa Kunda.