Journalist Explains Fracas With ECOMIG

Gambian journalist has explained how he got involved in a Fracas with peacekeepers of the ECOWAS Mission in the Gambia (ECOMIG).

Below is an account of Fabakary Ceesay’s account of an incident that resulted to exchange of blows at the Kairaba Beach Hotel where 61st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights have been taking place.

Though I arrived [at the meeting] late without knowing that the president is gracing the session. The security forces were very arrogant towards the people that came late. I approached one of them and exchanged words in our local language and showed him my accreditation. He let us in to the first level of the hall at the reception where he asked us to wait for a protocol officer. After almost 2 hours, I saw Protocol Officer Jobarteh and talked to him. He went inside and came back after 30 minutes and asked the security to let us in. While I stepped back to pick my bag, this ECOMIC-Senegalese officer came and pulled my bag and said “the hall is full.” I told him since he is outside he cannot say so because the protocol officer had asked us to enter. He pushed me and I too pushed him. He hit me on my chest saying since in the morning “I saw you arguing with our colleagues in rude way.” I responded back telling him that he too is rude. Then he hit me again; I hit him back and pointed a gun on my chest threatening to pull the trigger. I never backed off after he hung his gun and pushed me and I pushed back. We exchanged few blows before two of his colleagues joined him to drag me out until I sustained injuries on my finger in front of lots of people. One hit me on my shoulder while the other hit me at the back of my head.

Almost all local and international participants and Gambian PIU [Police Intervention Unit] officers were amazed by the behaviour. All of them were not expecting the president to grace the occasion as that had never been the case.

We have been attending the NGO and CSO forum preceding the African Commission session since Saturday 28 October. We all thought the session will start at the same as it has been since 28 October. If that was the case me and several of our international and local colleagues would not come late.



  1. Fabakary, we all need to understand and respect ECOMIG FORCES in the Gambia. I think trying to reach your bag is just like one is pulled over by police in America here and that officer gave you command to sit tight and put your hand outside; then instead of following that command, you try to reach out to something down in your vehicle. Folks in America here, what will be the officet’s response? He will automatically pull the trigger ofhis gun because he will think you are trying to reach out a weapon. So Fabakary’s case is exactly the same scenario. The ECOMIG officer sees Fabakary as security threat. Let us call a spade a spade.

    Secondly, we the Gambians should not see this ECOMIG FORCES as Senegalese but ECOWAS FORCES. Senegal government didn’t send hem in the Gambia but ECOWAS countries did it. We should respect them as international peacekeeping force and they are under mission without which we will still be under the hand of DICTATOR YAHYA AJJ JAMMEH’S RUTHLESS BRUTAL RULING by now. Fabakary and other local journalists and international journalists, used to say Gambia under dictator Yahya AJJ Jammeh was hell for journalists. Did you guys forget dictator’s threats? Now we all are enjoying freedom because these ECOMIG FORCES sacrifice their lives and we are now standing against them till you (Fabakary) hit back the officer in uniform. Who will hit back officer in uniform without being charged for assault or arrest in America. Come on, let us respect security personnel particularly these ECOMIG FORCES who are seen by some of the Gambians APRC, PDOIS, GDC and others political parties militants as Senegalese occupiers and therefore hold grudges against them.

  2. Let’s call a spade a spade, which journalist or civilian will refuse or exchange blow with dictator Yahya AJJ Jammeh’s Jungulars or Gen. Saul Badgie’s security personnel like Fabakary Ceesay did to ECOMIG officer? Come on!!! We all know that if Fabakary’s incident happened with dictator Yahya AJJ Jammeh’s security personnel or Gen Saul Badjie’s, he will be dealt with him until he is admitted at RVH in Banjul; upon discharge, he will be in mile 2 prison. So let us thank and respect this ECOMIG FORCES and then stop acting rudely by thinking they are Senegalese occupying the Gambia when they are not. Without this ECOMIG FORCES intervention dictator Yahya AJJ Jammeh will still be in power. Whoever denies that, please email me privately I will give you my number so we can have further discussion. Million thanks to ECOMIG FORCES for their wonderful job.

    • So, the behaviour of Jammeh’s thugs have suddenly become the yardstick, eh? If it doesn’t match up to that yardstick, we should be thankful, right? I hope you guys will read the witness’s own testimony of the incident, which shows that some of the views expressed are ill informed.
      I’m shocked to hear views that the journalist should be thankful that he is not in a hospital bed, languishing in Mile 2 or worse, buried six feet deep. Welcome to “New Gambia.”

  3. Thanks my brother. I have nothing to add to what you have said. Fabakary in Jammeh era will never lose his mind to make such a behave with paramilitary or jungulars. So what my brother said before, is to welcome this African unity forces who put there lives for Gambians to have their liberty and freedom from Yaya Jammeh. 22 good years we have been under hell fire because of the atrocities committed by Yaya Jammeh and most of his bad people, and Fabakary don’t about youref what undergone through Jammeh’s rule. When I carefully listen to you when Pa Nderry Mbai had an interview with you. So my brother let’s be honest to ourselves and give credit to the ECOMIG. Gambians generally i mean should sit and take a breath think in back days and say Alhamdulillahi. Thanks to Allah and ECOMIG. So behave brother and do your job in a decent and polite way. Such a behavior is not needed in the Gambia at this crucial moment. Thanks

  4. Luntango (Degaleh Wagh, Tabaa Bung Bang Yekumofo)

    Sonko, I say no more. This journalist was completely out of order and the ECOMIG Soldier behaved with admirable restraint. WORSE was rushing to the media houses with FAKE NEWS to besmirch the good name of ECOMIG in The Gambia: One headline was “ECOMIG SOLDIERS ASSAULTS GAMBIAN JOURNALIST”. That is completely FAKE! It could easily have been “Gambian Journalist Assaults Ecomig Soldier”!

  5. I think the Ceesay kunda man had his thoughts incensedly on the nice food, if any, expected to be served to the attending delegates at the end of the event…
    So he kicked himself for running late which were his own faults for whatsoever reasons…
    Then tried the unthinkable to access the conference hall at all costs….
    I learnt they had a different surname before but decided to change to current which is in respect of the chicken meat they so much cherish to eat all their lives😂…

  6. Karamo karamba Ceesay

    He should be ashamed of himself going to work late. If you wanted to be public speaker the bar is higher.

  7. Karamo it’s the Ceesay kunda thing; your sibling was rather for the food at end of the event but not (interested in) the beginning which required timely keeps & arrivals…
    Mr Ceesay wasn’t realistically fighting for any pride Gambians can associate with except for the food on the Ceesay mind always, I’m afraid😂…
    Why does Fabakary / anyone else thinks & justify that someone else is to blame for his turning up late & demand the absurd preference for what…
    I think a Ceesay kunda apology to the public is overdue; it’s just needs one/any real brave Ceesay kunda-nka (not Fabakary type) to apologise…
    We all are waiting for your Ceesay kunda apology & hope to get one soon otherwise; Bombshell of the century; this 😎…

  8. in love with the Gmabia

    My fellow Gambians, please stop fighting security officers in uniform. If you felt that you are being offended or abused by an officer, please take him/her to court. In this new Gambia, things are different, the justice system is on track inshaa Allah. Just recently a man contacted Fatou Camara about the fight he had with police in their station and he was kind of bragging about it. These officers are hired to protect us and engaging them in fights is not helping at all. Mr. ceesay came to the event late he must be patient and humble but instead, I bet he was mad for keeping him waiting for two hours and thirty minutes before he was allowed to enter, this could be the reason he could not control himself when the ECOMIC soldier engaged him. To be on time is very important especially when the president is going to be at the event and you are told to be there on time.