Monday, July 22, 2019

Charcoal Producer Shot Dead


By Mustapha Jallow

One 53-year-old Guinean national, Alpha Omar Jallow, has been shot on the neck by an unknown gunman near a rebel active area in Kurage, Casamance, on Monday 11thSeptember 2017, around 12 am midnight, family members told this medium. The deceased who has been living in Bullock for thirty years is a charcoal producer in the woods near the Gambia/Casamance border

During a visit at the deceased residence in Bullock village, one of the brothers Momodou Krubally, told Foroyaa that his elder brother has been engaged in the charcoal business with the rebels for 3 years now.

‘‘On that fateful Monday, he was at home since in the morning. Then around close to midnight he told us that he was going to check whether the heap of wood had burnt into charcoal. We never heard from him until the following day, Tuesday, when a senior rebel leader informed me that our brother had been shot,’’ Krubally explained to this reporter. Krubally said he was shocked upon hearing the devastating news that his brother was gunned down.

‘‘I later informed my neighbours and other villagers. Then we went to his work place where upon arrival, we met one of the rebel commanders who gave us the blood stained remains of my brother,’’ Krubally explained.

He said that some parts of the deceased’s body were seriously burned due to the heavy shot on his neck; that the rebel leader told him that the burning heap of charcoal was found on him.

‘‘I could not even look at him properly because my eyes couldn’t allow me. The rebel leader told me that the heap of charcoal with fire was found on him until they had to pull him out,’’ he said.

Krubally further said that the body was carried to Bullock Police Post, where officers and military personnel took photos of the deceased, then advised the family to bury him as the incident did not occur in The Gambia but in Casamance.

He said they had no other option but to bury him on that same Tuesday, 12th September around 2pm. He disclosed that the rebel leader promised the family that investigations would be conducted to ascertain his death and they will pursue the gunman.

The deceased left children and a wife behind who were found in a sombre mood, including relatives and friends who can be seen weeping openly.

The late Alpha Omar Jallow is a charcoal business associate of the rebels of Casamance. It is alleged that he shares the proceeds of the business with the rebels. It is alleged that the late Alpha Omar Jallow operates from inside the forest after receiving orders from the rebels to cut down trees. An attempt to hear from the wife of  the deceased proved futile as she was deeply overcome by grief.

At the time of going to press, this reporter contacted Police Spokesperson, Inspector Foday Conta, to shed light on the story.

PRO Conta said the deceased is a resident of Bullock village, that he went to the bush in Casamance to burn charcoal and met his death from a shot on his neck; that the body of the late Jallow was collected by family members at the border of the Gambia and Casamance. PRO Conta said that at this stage, the Police are investigating the matter as it is in the Casamance and the incident occurred in an active rebel zone; that this would make it difficult for them to gather evidence, because Gambian Forces are not mandated to operate on foreign soil particularly a rebel zone.

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