Gov’t urged to mediate between 2 rivalry Sarahulleh groups

Aug 31, 2020, 12:00 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo & Njie Baldeh

Almameh Jabbi, a native of Garawol village in the Kantora District of the Upper River Region (URR) and the adviser to the Soninkara Dambeh Association (SDA), has urged President Adama Barrow to help tackle the ongoing alleged caste upheaval that grips the country’s farthest region and rivalry between two Sarahulleh organisations.

“I can clearly tell you that there are no noble and slave issues within the Sarahulleh communities. However, there is a group that named itself as Gambana Association, so as to create problems within our villages by insulting our elders – something we will not tolerate anymore.”

He was speaking recently during a press conference organised by Soninkara Dambeh Association.

The association comprises 54 Sarahulleh villages across the country with the objectives of bringing its people together in order to foster understanding, unity and development among themselves.

The country’s human rights commission recently called on the government to address caste systems that have been grappling the country for some time now.

Mr. Jabbie, however, denied reports suggesting that the Sarahulleh communities are hit with caste problems, saying such information is far from the truth. He acknowledged that they need dialogue and rapid intervention from the government in order to discuss with the Gambana Association, another organistion.

“We really need dialogue in order to put the issue to rest. Notwithstanding, we have a culture and tradition that need to be respected. But this is not about noble and slaves issues. We can’t force anyone to accept those cultures and traditions. Again, they can’t stop us from promoting our cultures. I believe the government should take the leading role in addressing this issue, because we will not allow them to continue insulting our parents.”

He added that the country’s human rights commission has engaged them in dialogue, claiming that Gambana Association has refused to adhere to the advice of the commission. “The Gambana Association is creating problems within our communities. We want the government to intervene before it turns to violence. These are people who are insulting our imams and alkalolu, and we will not accept that.”

Muhammed Gumaneh, a native of Koina village in the Kantora District of the Upper River Region, equally claimed that Gambana Association is just formed to insult their parents and create commotion within the Sarahulleh communities on the pretext that they are called “slaves.”

He maintained that those that are claiming to be part of the Gambana Association are not even up to 25% of the Sarahulleh communities countrywide. “No one is calling them “slaves” but what we will not accept is them insulting and assaulting our people. Let the government investigate the matter in order to bring a lasting solution to the ongoing saga.

Sulayman Hydara, a native of Taifa village in the Central River Region, who doubles as the president of Soninkara Dambeh Association, said his association’s objectives among others is to bring unity and development within the Sarahulleh communities. According to him, it’s high time that the government addressed members of the Gambana Association before they create problem in the country.

“We will never allow our parents to be insulted by these people. They have the right to believe what they believe, but we will never sit and see our elders being disrespected by them.”

He claimed that the Gambana Association is out to bring disunity within their communities in the name of so-called “noble and slave” issues, which he said do not exist in their villages.  SDA, he went on, has tried all efforts to bring them together but to no avail.