I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences and prayers to the victims and the families of Faraba Banta peaceful protesters who were cowardly killed and injured by the rogue elements of Police Intervention Unit otherwise known as paramilitary force. People of Faraba have constitutional right to express grievances against environmental degradation in their community. This right must be upheld and protected by Gambia police force at all times. But it is a responsibility the paramilitary forces have woefully failed. This cowardly and senseless killings once again send clear reminder that there are some rogue security forces who have no regard for human life and constitutional rights of Gambians. The government of The Gambia through its police force must take full responsibility to ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous crimes are brought to justice. For far too long some elements of Gambian security services have gotten away with gross violations of human rights with total impunity. Since the installation of the new government, we have seen rogue element sympathizers of former President Yahya Jammeh committing heinous crimes against the Gambian people. The main objective of these despicable and senseless killings is to sabotage the current government and to create negative image of governance situation in the country.
President Barrow must realize that leadership is about making bold and decisive actions. It is time for Mr Barrow to be bold and decisive and get rid of all those sympathetic to the former President Yahya Jammeh in our security agencies. Majority of the rogue security forces have their DNA linked to three decades of tribal dominated rebellion in the southern Senegal’s Casamance region.
The truth is that these rogue elements have no educational and constitutional qualifications to be enlisted in our security services. But they were allowed to enlist to sustain military dictatorship in the country. They are agents of oppression and will continue to commit heinous crimes as long as they are in the national security services.
The mere condemnation of these evil killers is not enough. As a country, we cannot continue to ignore killers in our midst while falsely pretending to live in a peaceful nation. The recent event is also another reminder that unless the perpetrators of human rights violations are punished, the TRRC will be a useless organization designed for economic exploitation and political adventurism. The advancement of democracy and rule of law depend on disciplined educated security forces with genuine democratic ideals, moral values and better understanding of the constitution. To achieve a well meaning and impartial security services with better understanding of our way of life and constitution, the current government must start to fire or retire all those security chiefs who have helped to sustain military dictatorship in the country and hire men and women of impeccable character and best qualifications. This is the first start of security sector reform. People who have blood on their hands or no regards for human rights cannot lead any genuine reform.
Civil education or education based on constitutional rights and responsibility of citizens must also be incorporated in the recruitment process and training of security forces at all levels. This will help our security services have better understanding of not only their role in maintaining law and order but also in national development. Security service reform or total overhaul of our current security situation is the key to success economic development and genuine peace and stability. Unless President Barrow act immediately, his legacy is rapidly becoming that of Dictator Yahya Jammeh.