Three Gambian soldiers have been seriously wounded after fighting broke out between the Gambian soldiers and the ECOMIG Forces currently in The Gambia.
Our sources in Kanilai said the incident happened when the ECOMIG forces stationed in Bwiam, attempted to enter Kanilai, the home village of former President Yahya Jammeh and were denied access by the soldiers on duty who asked them to wait for command. According to our sources, this does not go down well with them, there a push and pull ensued leading to a confrontation between the foreign troops and the Gambian military. Things escalated, which resulted to a physical fight between the two forces. The ECOMIG forces, our sources added, first fired warning shots at the soldiers. The Gambian soldiers also responded with firing.
After the Gun battle between the two forces, the inhabitants of Kanilai and the surrounding villages reinforced the guards on duty.
“I can tell you that the ECOMIG Forces in the Gambia were the first to open fire on the Gambian soldiers which injured three GAF soldiers,” our source in Kanilai said.
He added, “This is not the kind of administration Gambians are looking forward to. We, the people of Kanilai have not been at peace since the change of government. We don’t have proper sleep. Everyday, we see heavy guns pointing at our compounds. This is very serious and has been causing our children and wives psychological trauma,” a Kanilai resident told us.
He added, “Whosoever is responsible for this, must understand that the former president was elected four times with overwhelming majority to lead The Gambia, why should we be subjected to intimidation and continuous threats even though Yahya Jammeh is no longer in the village”.
“I have never seen such kind of situation anywhere in the world. I believe now their mission is ‘Operation Wipe Kanilai’.”
The National Assembly member for the area said the current situation in Foni Is causing panic.
Hon. Musa Amul Nyassi said the situation has caused Internal Displacement in his District. “We are demanding the government to explain to us why the Senegalese forces are always requesting to enter former president Jammeh’s private home. Am strongly condemning the act because Yahya Jammeh’s compound is not a route to Cassamace,” the NAM for Foni Kansala added.
The former Minister for Local Government in the former regime added that this is not the kind of government that Gambians are looking forward to.
“In fact, I don’t think ECOMIG forces requesting to enter former Gambian leader’s compound is part of their mandate in the country. They wanted to use force and enter the compound which resulted to the push and pull between them and the GAF. It started with a physical fight,” he said, affirming that the ECOMIG Forces were the first to open fire, which resulted to wounding three Gambia Armed Forces soldiers.
The Public Relations Officer of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), Lieutenant Colonel Omar B Bojang has confirmed the incident to our reporter. He said the Armed forces dispatched a team immediately after the information of the incident reached them. The team, according to him, was led by the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Yakub Drammeh and some other senior personnel.
PRO Bojang in his view said, the incident was as a result of misunderstanding, but has been handled. “There is no need for panic,” he said, adding that they are encouraging dialogue between the two parties.
“Currently investigation is ongoing,” the GAF PRO noted. He disclosed that, a Joint Board of Inquiry would be set-up between the ECOMIG and the GAF to find out who went wrong.
Quizzed by the reporter as to which forces first opened fire, Bojang added that the Joint Board of Inquiry that will be set-up between the two parties will establish that.
by Momodou Jawo