The fatal shooting of a woman has brought back fears and memories of insecurity in The Gambia. A professional security force in any given country will do everything humanely possible to safe lives even during wild chase. If the Joint Security Task Force members are not blood-hungry, they could have spared the precious life of Ya Binta Jarju.
The death comes at a time when Gambians and their government are reeling with fears of violent attacks. Gambian security forces are in a haste to shoot, knowing fully they will get away with their crimes. Even security forces have not been spared in this brutality. One senior security officer had his helmet blown away by a bullet fired by a soldier at a checkpoint. His only crime was to move to the side of the road. The said soldier (name withheld for security reasons) was scared to lodge a complaint, fearing a backlash. He thanked God for sparing his life.
Kairo News is still trying get to the bottom of a story that has left a lot of open holes. The key question that is left to be unanswered is why the taxi driver failed to stop. Is there anything in the car he was trying to hide where security forces have become instruments of brutality.
In this statement published below, the police mouthpiece provided an explanation of how and why the fatal shooting took place. ASP David Kujabi, whose version of the story is culled from Standard Newspaper, needs to be carefully scrutinised.
“On Saturday 7th March between 11:00 to 11:45pm, personnel of the Joint Security Task Force were mounting a routine night vehicle check-point at Manjai Kunda. Vehicles that came by were flagged, checked and allowed to move on. However, a taxi with registration number, ‘BJL 7039 G’ came by and upon reaching the check-point, the driver sped off refusing to stop. A warning shot was fired but the driver kept on driving at top speed.
“This being a sure suspicious behaviour, the security officers boarded their patrol vehicle and pursued the fleeing driver. A second warning shot was again fired but the driver again failed to take heed and instead led the officers on a wild chase. They eventually overtook the taxi and braked in front of it as if to force it to a stop but the driver swerved, took a quick turn and drove through a narrow road nearby. The officers then shot at the car in order to force it to a stop but the bullet instead hit a lady who was sitting at the backseat of the taxi leading to her death.
“This unfortunate tragic incident is regrettable but it must be noted that the security forces of The Gambia will not be complacent in ensuring the security of this nation and its people and this happening not long after the December terror attack meant that all necessary means had to be employed to stem a recurrence. The general public is therefore warned to respect these check-points and cooperate with the security forces as they are meant to ensure their own security.”