We can’t point fingers to the past to explain today’s incident. This incident happened under Barrow’s watch. The Faraba mining standoff was in the news for weeks before the fatal shootings. Therefore, it is Barrow’s own failure not to have seen the writings on the wall.
The institutions on the ground were primarily preoccupied with protecting the business properties of the mining businessman- supposedly an acquaintance of President Barrow.
But that these disputes, like the one in Gunjur or land disputes in the country, could turn violent was not forseen or anticipated by President Barrow, interior minister Mballow, land ministry Dibba, IGP Kinteh etc. Which to me is a painfull leadership deficit.
We all acknowledge the difficult transition and the many challenges on the the govt plate. That is why we also equally, continually urge the govt ministers and the president himself to be alert and abide by the utmost probity in what ever transactions they are involved in and decisions they make.
Inviting Seedy Njie and APRC stalwarts few week ago to state house while disputes in the West coast region rages is not a symbol of an exemplary leadership.
Perception counts. If poor communities feel powerless in the face of cronies of the president in their own backyard, then inevitably they will resort to violence to redeem their rights. The president must hear these people NOT the new businessmen in the corridors of power or their interlocutors.
The poor people of the Gambia enabled the ousting of Jammeh and NOT the new businessmen in town. Resources of the communities must be handled with absolute care and foremostly geared to the benefit of that community. A community must have the majority Stake/share in any mining activities going on in the country.
I urge UDP to quickly and unequivocally demand justice for Faraba victims. Otherwise, our demand for SOLO’s killers to face justice will be morally questionable. The victims of Faraba were also killed in cold blood under treacherous conditions.