Over 40 Sanyang youths arrested amid unrest

Mar 23, 2021, 12:37 PM | Article By: Yusupha Jobe

The Police Anti-Crime Unit has arrested over 40 youth at Sanyang after a mob attack, burning of a police station and fishmeal factory last week following the alleged killing of a native by a Senegalese.

The arrest according to our sources, took place over the weekend as the police Anti-Crime Unit arrested people on the streets and compounds.

The incident followed the burning of fishing boats and nets belonging to Senegalese residing at Sanyang.

Alieu Bayo, a resident, in an interview with The Point, said the ongoing mass arrest of young people on the streets and compounds is a violation of human rights, stating that the arrest and intimidation of the youths on the streets have the potential of creating unrest in the village.

“How can you meet people on the streets and start arresting them without any verification. May be some of those arrested and taken by the police Anti-Crime Unit were even innocent. So it is very illegal.”

“I can inform you that since last Friday to Sunday arrest of young people is been going on in the community by the police Anti-Crime Unit and over 40 young people have been apprehended. So this has to stop to avoid any possible violence in the community. Right now some of us are not even comfortable sleeping in our homes,” he warned.

He alleged that the killing of a Gambian by a Senegalese citizen is not seen as a concern to the government of President Adama Barrow, while adding that atrocities committed by Senegalese nationals such as stealing and rape have rendered unsafe environment for the natives.

“We have been living with Senegalese for many years in the community. But since the establishment of fishmeal factory, it has caused the influx of many foreign fishermen in the village committing with various kind of crimes. So we are not going to sit and allow our community to be destroyed like that; and that will never happen,” he stressed.

The National Youth Council (NYC) on Friday visited the community with a view to finding a lasting solution to the problem. A meeting was held at the village’s center where youths were urged to maintain calm and allow the law to take its course.

Madi Jorbateh, a human right activist in a statement, accused the police of using forceful means of arresting people in the streets, while stating that arrest and prosecution will not address the core of the problem in Sanyang.

“Arrest and prosecution will not address the core of the problem in Sanyang. Since the Faraba incident two years ago, the Commission of Inquiry’s report predicted this kind of incidents erupting in coastal towns if necessary actions are not taken to address issues of land and natural resources,” he recalled.

The Point, in an effort to reach the police for comment proved futile.

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