By Mustapha Jallow and Kebba Jeffang
A reliable source has informed this medium that 3 Gambian soldiers were shot and injured by the ECOMIG mission at Kanilai village, on 20 April 2017, around 10 am.
When this reporter visited the Bwiam hospital (Foni), a convoy of ECOMIG soldiers and some Gambian senior military officers led by deputy chief of defence staff, Major General Yankuba Drammeh were seen coming from Kanilai and entering the hospital around 3pm. The deputy CDS was also seen putting questions to one of the injured soldiers while other officers were busy taking notes and Doctors who attended the soldiers also explained the situation to the deputy CDS.
Modou Mbye, a Private soldier was admitted in a Consulting room at the hospital and the 2 others were put into a waiting ambulance, which later took off for Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH); but it was later learnt that the other two in the ambulance were later discharged and are currently admitted at the military clinic near state house.
In a short word with injured officer, Private Soldier Mbye said that they were on the ground guarding the home of former president Jammeh and some secret graves as they were commanded to do. He added that in the morning while guarding, a group of ECOMIG troops with their vehicle came and wanted to use force to enter and they also refused; that’s the time the push and pull started. Eventually one of the ECOMIG soldiers opened fire with a rifle.
The following sustained injury: Private soldier Modou Mbye, Private Ebrima Manga and Lance Corporal Suwaibou Sanyang. Private soldier Modou Mbye had bullet wounds on his right thigh.
Meanwhile security at Kanilai is quite tense and residents are not at ease with themselves. This reporter observed that many were leaving their gardens to go home while others were hesitating to travel. However, speaking on behalf of the Alkalo of Kanilai, Mr Sainey Jammeh, a relative of former president Jammeh, described the situation as calm. He narrated his version of what had happened as an eye witness.
Lt. Col. Omar B. Bojang, the army PRO confirmed the incident to Foroyaa.
“We have heard about the incident this morning and the Gambia Armed Forces immediately deployed a fact-finding team led by the deputy Chief of Defence Staff Lt. General Yankuba Drammeh to ascertain the cause of firing,” he said.
However, he said the team was able to understand that the conflict was caused by misunderstanding between the two forces.
He said the two authorities are tasked to put up a joint board of Inquiry to ascertain the cause of the gun shots stating that when such things happen each side will narrate stories that will clean them.
The ECOMIG forces first landed on Gambian soil on the mid night of January 19 sent by the orders of ECOWAS to ensure that Yahya Jammeh leaves power for Adama Barrow who was elected in the December 1 presidential election.
According to President Barrow, the ECOMIG forces will remain in The Gambia for six months in order to help the country address the security challenges.