My Beef With Captain Bunja Darboe

By Kinteh

Too unsubstantiated and too late. I read through this piece and at the end of it, felt very disappointed with our former men in uniform.

Firstly, it is very apologetic. Every second paragraph, begins with what Bunja dued to the man, followed by regrets about the reincarnation of his one time idol. Every right thinking man, who claims professionalism, knows that it is institutions that guarantee a democratic dispensation and that the democratic process ensures that a background check on individuals is carried out before someone from no where assumes high office. The men in uniform at the time failed the country by toppling an elected government and worst install someone they didn’t even really know – at least his true intentions.

Secondly, I found the so-called “breaking silence” too little and too late. If the insulting of Mandinkas is the true motivation to come out from the closet, I think that is hypocrisy. The bashing of Mandinkas has a tradition in this junta once they felt secured in their position. Yankuba Touray (former junta man/loudmouth and himself a Bambara, a branch of Mandinka family) once uttered the same nonsense that Mandinkas will not “reign” in the Gambia anymore. His boss just repeated what was already an unwritten intention. Where was Bunja as these acclamations were being spurted in public?

We all see the intentions being executed into action long time ago. Starting with Koro Ceesay and 11 November. Men, all mostly of Mandinka and Wollof origins burnt or killed respectively. Bunja was in the military then. At this point I must say people are more interested in the details of such impunities rather than a show of outrage at a phantom speech void of any realism.

What is realistic is the individual destinies affected by the decision, the men in uniform took on that fateful day in 1994, to lend hand in turning Gambia into a dictatorship.
Bunja’s coming out is to little and too late, because the aforementioned reaction, does not appear to come from a sense of complicity or joint-guilt for all the brutality meted out to many Gambians by his erstwhile “mentor”, but by an abstract defamation of the mandinkas or worst an apology for not knowing better at the time that this man will struck his dagger on anyone who stood up to rescue Gambia from the abyss.

I would have expected from a Gambian, who attained the position of captain in the national army, is to substantiate between wishful thinking and realism.

Wishful thinking, in this particular case, is to hate the mandinka’s due to reasons of their stubbornness to your power greed and hence willing them extinction.

Realism is for me, in this particular case, that the Mandinkas are here to stay and nothing will change the ethnic make up of the Gambia. Notwithstanding, that realism foresees that many individual Gambians will suffer in the hands of the tyranny partly because they happen to belong to the mandinka ethnic group or poses a great threat to the upholding of this unfortunate tyrannical grip our country find herself in.



  1. Very simple, rational,straight forward and articulate @Kinteh. This helps blockheadeds like me start to see and understand situations easily with respect to the state of affairs of the Gambia. Though my advice to you is; never say too late. Atleast I will commend Mr. Darboe for making himself available for such a beefy situation possible of shooting out an important national, whatever his motivation for speaking out now is.

  2. I also think he should come clean if he is really sincere. We are not interested in how close he is with the president if he can’t come clean like every other military personnel that worked for Jammeh. To me, he is just a small eat who escaped from the big rat he was working for.